We know it can be especially difficult to keep up with current information during an emergency. To best serve you, SCHA has created this Hospital Alerts page for up-to-date information related to emergencies that may impact our hospitals and the State of South Carolina. Links to relevant, regularly updated partner sites may also be found within this page. For more information, contact SCHA Vice President Jimmy Walker at 803.796.3080
Below are links to current information about the Zika virus from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), SCDHEC, and others.
For more important information and commonly asked questions, click here.
SCHA Zika Virus Update
October 24, 2016
According to the latest information from DHEC, South Carolina has confirmed 53 travel-associated cases of the Zika virus. Of those cases, 52 were infected abroad and one case was sexually transmitted by someone who acquired Zika while travelling abroad. South Carolina still has not confirmed any locally-acquired insect-borne cases of Zika in the state.
CDC Key Zika Considerations for Healthcare Providers
The CDC has released a simple two-page document summarizing the key considerations for hospitals and health systems as they prepare to receive patients potentially infected with the Zika virus. The document outlines nine steps health care facilities should take, including knowing the clinical manifestations of the virus, how to assess pregnant women and advise against sexual transmission during pregnancy, and reporting and use of standard precautions. In addition, the document notes steps health care settings can take to educate patients and their families about the disease, transmission and steps to avoid infection. CDC also offers a 24/7 Zika hotline at 770-488-7100 that can provide rapid access to CDC clinical experts, as well a dedicated e-mail address for pregnancy-related Zika questions at email@example.com.
DHEC Zika and Birth Defects Surveillance
As part of the continued response to Zika virus disease, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is actively engaged in the surveillance for Zika virus disease and participating in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry (ZPR). People who are eligible for the Registry include pregnant women in the U.S. with laboratory evidence of Zika virus and prenatally or perinatally exposed infants born to these women. In addition, for cases not identified prenatally, the registry should also include infants with laboratory evidence of congenital Zika virus and the retrospective inclusion of their mothers. Be aware that DHEC staff may contact your facility to obtain information regarding a Zika-exposed woman or infant.
Birth defects surveillance has been performed routinely in South Carolina hospitals since 2006 as part of the legislatively mandated South Carolina Birth Defects Program (Title 44-44-30) and reporting of Zika virus is consistent with state law requiring the reporting of diseases and conditions to the state or local public health department, (Title 44-29-10 and Regulation 61-20). DHEC will provide consultation to health care providers and facilitate testing for Zika virus. Health care providers should contact their regional DHEC Public Health Epidemiology office for assistance with testing and to report suspected Zika virus cases.
FDA: All Donated Blood Should Be Tested for Zika
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released updated guidance recommending that all donated blood be tested for the Zika virus. Initially, the FDA issued guidance in February recommending that only areas with active Zika virus transmission screen donated blood, while the revised guidance extends that recommendation to all states and U.S. territories. Testing of donated blood is already underway in Florida and Puerto Rico, as well as in other areas, and has shown to be beneficial in identifying donations infected with Zika virus. Expanded testing will continue to reduce the risk for transmission of Zika virus through the U.S. blood supply and will be in effect until the risk of transfusion transmission of Zika virus is reduced.
For questions or for more information relevant to Zika in SC, email Zika@dhec.sc.gov.
SCHA staff continues to be in regular contact with DHEC officials for the most current information from the CDC and DHEC.
Regional Public Health Offices
Mail or call reports to the Epidemiology Office in each Public Health Region.
Lowcountry: 4050 Bridge View Drive, Suite 600, N. Charleston, SC 29405 • Fax 843.953.0051
Midlands: 2000 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29204 • Fax 803.576.2993
Pee Dee: 145 E. Cheves Street, Florence, SC 29506 • Fax 843.661.4859
Upstate: 200 University Ridge, Greenville, SC 29602 • Fax 864.282.4373
Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester: Phone 843.953.0043 • Nights/Weekends 843.441.1091
Midlands Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Richland: Phone 803.576.2749 • Nights/Weekends 888.801.1046
Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marlboro, Marion: Phone 843.661.4830 • Nights/Weekends 843.915.8845
Anderson, Oconee: Phone 864.260.5801 • Nights/Weekends 866.298.4442
Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper: Phone 843.322.2453 • Nights/Weekends 843.441.1091
Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, York: Phone 803.286.9948 • Nights/Weekends 888.801.1046
Clarendon, Lee, Sumter: Phone 803.773.5511 • Nights/Weekends 843.915.8845
Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick: Phone 864.227.5947 • Nights/Weekends 866.298.4442
Allendale, Bamberg, Calhoun, Orangeburg: Phone 803.268.5833 • Nights/Weekends 843.441.1091
Aiken, Barnwell, Edgefield, Saluda: Phone 803.642.1618 • Nights/Weekends 888.801.1046
Georgetown, Horry, Williamsburg: Phone 843.915.8804 • Nights/Weekends 843.915.8845
Cherokee, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union: Phone 864.372.3133 • Nights/Weekends 866.298.4442
Updated: August 30, 2016