Prevention is key: Doctors push for flu shots after 15 flu related deaths in S.C.

Prevention is key: Doctors push for flu shots after 15 flu related deaths in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - There have already been 15 flu-related deaths in South Carolina during this year’s flu season, including one recent death here in the Midlands.

From hospitalizations to death, the flu has been widespread in South Carolina this year and we still have a ways to go before flu season is over.

“We are just starting,” said Dr. Lachin Hatemi from Veritas Urgent Care. “The worst time is actually the end of January and February. So, we are just starting.”

If you haven’t already gotten your flu shot, Dr. Hatemi said it’s not too late. Even though it’s not guaranteed to prevent you from getting the flu, Hatemi says you’re better off using as many preventative measures as possible. If you wait until you already have the flu to see your doctor, he says you’ll most likely be fighting an uphill battle.

“They have to come get tested very fast because, if you don’t come within the first 48 hours from the onset of the symptoms, the flu medication will not work,” Dr. Hatemi. “The vulnerable population, which is young children or elderly, can actually die from the flu.”

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has released information that said we’re currently in the seventh consecutive week where widespread activity has been reported in the state. Hatemi advises that you give yourself the best chance to stay healthy by keeping your distance from folks who may already be sick, practicing good hand hygiene, and getting a flu shot.

“Any coverage,” he said. “Any protection is better than no protection.”

Hatemi said, if someone in your household has the flu, you should probably go to the doctor yourself to get medicine that can help prevent you from getting it as well.

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