South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control officials have confirmed the state’s first two cases of monkeypox infection.

The affected patients are in the Midlands and Lowcountry regions.

Monkeypox typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes.  That progresses to a rash on the face and body.  Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness.  Most infections last two to four weeks.

Health officials say it’s not easily transmitted from person to person.  It can spread through face-to-face contact, skin-to-skin contact including sexual contact, and through contaminated materials like clothing or linens.

DHEC officials say they believe the risk of monkeypox to the general population remains low.