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Fighting The Flu In The New Year

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Upstate doctors say they have recently seen an increase number of patients complaining of flu-like symptoms in the final days of 2013. The flu has sent more than 400 people to the hospital in South Carolina since Sept. 29. Upstate doctors say they have recently seen an increase number of patients complaining of flu-like symptoms in the final days of 2013. The flu has sent more than 400 people to the hospital in South Carolina since Sept. 29.
GREER, S.C. -

Some doctors in the Upstate have been inundated recently with patients showing signs of the flu.

Dr. Chelsea Burgin who works at MD360 in Greer says at least half of the people she has seen in the week leading up to New Year’s Day have been complaining of the flu.

“It is rampant."

Burgin is trying to remain optimistic that it won’t get any worse. Typically in South Carolina, influenza peaks in February.

“I would get the flu vaccine as soon as possible,” Burgin said.

It takes about two weeks for the dose it to begin protecting you, but Bergin says getting vaccinated is the number-one defense against the flu.

If you do get sick, she says there are certain drugs that can help.

"Tamiflu is a prescription medication and if caught within the first 48 hours, there is notable improvement in your symptoms."

The flu can also be deadly. DHEC reports six people have died from the flu across the state.

In North Carolina, seven people are dead as a result of the virus. Duke University Health Systems is now limiting patient visitors to immediate family 18 or older with no flu-like symptoms.

The number of flu cases in the Upstate has not yet prompted any local hospitals to implement visitor restrictions.

A new app called Sickweather allows you to keep track of where people are reporting illnesses. It not only syncs data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it also reports illnesses mentioned on social media sites.

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