DHEC Report: Over 25% of Lyme disease cases in SC were reported in Horry County


COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – The South Carolina DHEC released its annual Morbidity Report for 2018 on Monday. The report shows data and trends of various diseases and conditions that are reportable by law in the state.

One of those diseases is Lyme Disease. According to the report, over 25% of the 37 cases occurred in Horry County. Horry County had the most cases in South Carolina.

Overall, the incident rate for Lyme Disease is actually down 5% over the past 5 years and there was a steep decrease between 2017 and 2018 in the state.

Courtesy SC DHEC

Other highlights of the report include over 13,000 animal bites being reported, and only 100 of the animals tested reported being positive for rabies.

Courtesy SC DHEC

Stomach and intestinal diseases have seen a recent increase in recent years, in part due to increased and improved testing methods. The most common disease of this type in 2018 was salmonellosis with about 1,600 cases.

Courtesy SC DHEC

Hepatitis continues to make up a large number of communicable disease cases in the state. In 2018 there were about 500 cases of chronic hepatitis B and nearly 6,500 cases of chronic hepatitis C. DHEC notes in the report that since 2014 the state has seen an increase in hepatitis C cases in conjunction with injection drug use. This trend lines up with national numbers as many new cases are associated with the opioid epidemic, injection drug use and the sharing of needles.

Courtesy SC DHEC

Since 2014 the number of vaccine-preventable diseases has been on the rise according to DHEC. It says this is tied to an increase in the rate of religious exemptions among children enrolled at public and private schools from 2013-2018.

In 2018, DHEC received approximately 678 outbreak reports. The largest proportion, approximately 68%, were caused by seasonal influenza. There were also several notable other outbreaks including measles, salmonellosis, and outbreaks caused by emerging multi-drug resistant organisms, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa Verona Integron-Mediated Metallo-lactamase (VIM) and Klebsiella pneumoniae New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM)

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