Here’s what to know in South Carolina this week

Here’s what to know in South Carolina this week

We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in South Carolina. Check back each week for updates.

More than 1,550 COVID cases added in SC last week

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday, April 11, reported 1,565 COVID-19 cases for the week ending April 8 and 17 coronavirus-related deaths for the week ending April 1.

The counts include probable and confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

An estimated 1.8 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the Palmetto State, and nearly 19,800 people have died since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, according to state health officials. Data shows new COVID-19 cases dipped about 21% compared to this time last week.

As of April 9, 97 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus in South Carolina (with 61 hospitals reporting), including 11 patients in intensive care units, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Going forward, DHEC said it will use “the CDC data for South Carolina to show our state’s Inpatient Bed Usage and Intensive Care Unit Bed Usage statistics.”

Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 accounted for more than 90% of all COVID-19 strains identified in South Carolina for the week ending March 25, data shows. The DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory conducts sequencing on randomly selected samples as part of nationwide efforts to find out about new strains of the virus, the agency’s website reads.

The state’s latest vaccination numbers show 54% of eligible South Carolina residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and just over 62% have received at least one dose.

What to know about long COVID and heart issues

For some people who contract COVID-19, heart problems can linger long after recovering from an infection.

Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital told McClatchy News some patients have experienced heart-related symptoms soon after their infections but said most patients don’t have lingering cardiovascular issues.

“A COVID-19 infection can directly damage the heart,” said Krumholz, a scientist and cardiologist. “The virus itself can cause damage or the body’s response to the virus can cause damage. It seems the inflammation in other parts of the body can also affect the blood vessels and inside the body.”

Studies have suggested that people may have a higher chance of developing a heart condition called POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) following a COVID-19 infection and that the “most prevalent” category of long COVID symptoms impacts the “heart, kidney and circulatory systems ,” McClatchy News reported.

Other long-term symptoms of COVID include breathing problems, chest pains and brain fog. But for heart-related symptoms, “We have yet to really isolate the underlying cause or determine the best treatment,” said Krumholz.

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