COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Last week, the total number of flu-related deaths in South Carolina was at 24. Now, state officials say that number in South Carolina has risen to 46.
Greenville has the highest number of flu cases in the state, at 2,293. Richland County follows at 2,103 and Charleston at 1,043.
According to SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, the most affected age group are those 65 and older. This week, out of the 470 hospitalizations, nearly 300 of those patients are at least 65 years old. For total deaths, 33 of the 46 are also 65 and older.
The next most affected age group are those 50 to 64 years old, where 104 were hospitalized this week and 9 died according to the latest DHEC data.
The other 4 reported deaths in the state are aged 18-49 years old. No one has died from ages 0 to 17 years old.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the 2017-2018 flu season as an epidemic. This time last year, there were 10 reported deaths for the entire flu season.
Hospitals like Palmetto Health have restricted visitation because of the flu.
DHEC is strongly urging everyone to get a flu shot even though it is only 30% effective..