Flu activity “widespread” in S.C. for more than three months, DHEC says

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- As of last week, there has been “widespread” flu activity in South Carolina for 13 weeks in a row, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The state saw an overall increase in flu activity last week, according to DHEC. The Midlands, Lowcountry, and Pee Dee regions all saw increases in flu activity last week, while the Upstate’s flu activity remained the same. However, the Upstate has more flu-related deaths than other areas in the state this season with 29 reported so far.

“We seem to be in the peak of it right now,” said Taylor Mckeowen, who is a nurse practitioner with Bon Secours St. Francis. “It’s high prevalence in the community.”

Half of all of flu-associated deaths in the state reported this season were people aged 65 or older.

“For the majority of the population who are healthy, they’re going to get over this just fine,” Mckeowen said.

Even though the weather in the recent days may feel like spring, flu season is still underway.

“Typically it’s going to last up until March,” Mckeowen said. “The Fall and the Winter months are going to be the most prevalent, so I suspect in the next few months, we’ll still be seeing a good bit of it kind of flowing through the community.”

He said symptoms include a sudden onset of body aches, chills, fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, congestion, and sore throat. He also said it’s not too late to get immunized, and even though some people who were immunized still get diagnosed with the flu, their symptoms aren’t as bad as those who didn’t get a flu shot.

68 people in the state have died from flu-associated causes this season, according to DHEC.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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