April 22, 2018

Health officials address flu outbreak after 2 pediatric deaths

09 February 2018, 02:02 | Darrell Baldwin

News-Register | Joanna Mikolajczak

News-Register | Joanna Mikolajczak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said hospitalizations related to the flu could exceed 700,000.

This flu season, a total of 106 influenza-associated deaths reported by DHEC, which said that SC reported widespread activity this week.

The cold and flu also share a similarity in what they are not - neither is a version of the 'stomach flu, ' or 24-hour bug. "With influenza activity on the rise, individuals in these groups should take special precaution as we continue throughout the season".

It's not too late to get a flu shot, he said.

The weekly report by the Health Department for the week ending January 27 classifies the influenza activity as geographically widespread, the eighth week in a row for that designation.

The bulk of the deaths statewide have been with people ages 65 and older, according to the state Department of Health.

Officials believe that the flu season hasn't reached its peak, yet, and, unfortunately, expect more hospitalizations and victims.

The CDC said this year's flu season is the worst the nation has seen since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

These can be differentiated from other illnesses because flu symptoms come on strong and suddenly.

Four more people have died from the flu in the Tri-Cities, bringing the total to 12 since mid-December - and making this the most deadly local flu season in recent memory. People experiencing flu-like symptoms should call their health care provider if they have severe symptoms, trouble breathing, are pregnant, or have chronic health conditions such as lung or heart disease or diabetes. That was in 2015, and it was something of an aberration - the three years before and two years after only saw one to two flu deaths each. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed.

The CDC states the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.

The virus spreads quickly in crowded spaces, such as dorms, classrooms or shopping centers, through contact with infected people's bodily fluids.

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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