COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Officials say this flu season in South Carolina was the deadliest in years, with over 100 deaths than the previous one that had the most.
The state Health and Environmental Control department told news outlets Thursday that 271 people died from the flu during the 2017-18 season. Previously, the 157 deaths during the 2014-15 season were the most reported. Flu season typically runs from October to May.
Department immunization consultant Dr. Teresa Foo tells The Greenville News the high number of deaths was caused by a strain of flu that was predominant this season – H3N2. She says the strain also was predominant in the 2014-15 season.
Foo says the vaccine’s roughly 33 percent effectiveness this season is typical when H3N2 is predominant, but flu shots are still the best protection.