GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The flu has been widespread in South Carolina for a month, and with every week, doctors say they’re seeing more cases.
“We’re seeing about 30 percent of our patients are presenting with flu like symptoms,” said Dr. Chelsea Burgin with the Greenville Health System.
Dr. Burgin works for Greenville Health System’s urgent care system called MD 360. She says it seems like like there are new flu positive cases everyday.
At Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, their emergency centers have seen 70 flu patients in the last week, and their immediate care centers have seen 138 cases in that same time period. Officials with the healthcare system say this January has been worse than last January, but they don’t know if the trend will continue through February and March since this is just the beginning of the peak of flu season.
Pharmacists say they’re also seeing more prescriptions for Tamiflu, which is a drug that helps with flu symptoms. Scott Causey, the owner of Howard’s Pharmacy in Simpsonville says his supply is getting lower because he’s filled more prescriptions, but he’s not in danger of running out.
“Usually at some point in time, you can find it somewhere, you just have to dig farther to find it,” Causey said.
However, Tamiflu only works best if you start using it within 48 hours of showing symptoms. And, a lot of people often don’t go to the doctor right away because they’re not sure how to tell the flu apart from a bad cold.
“The biggest thing I’ve seen is a high temperature and body aches that will really set it apart,” Causey said.
Doctors say it’s not too late to a get a flu vaccine. But it does take a couple weeks to become effective, and the flu is already widespread in the state.