Flu cases on the rise in South Carolina this season

Updated: Feb. 15, 2017 at 9:55 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Flu cases are up this year across the state. This week alone, there are more than 7,300 new influenza cases.

Doctors with the Department Of Health and Environmental Control describe this year's flu season as unpredictable and they say the best protection is to get a flu shot.

More than 2,700 cases have been reported statewide since October. During flu season this time last year, there weren't nearly as many cases, with more than 4,000 reported statewide.

With the flu being so unpredictable doctors say the flu peaks at different times every year and it's nearly impossible to determine what causes more cases from one year to the next.

"Sometimes there are different strains of flu," said Dr. Teresa Foo, the DHEC medical consultant with immunizations. "Depends on how many people are vaccinated each year, how good the vaccine is but this year actually we're seeing the strains that are being seen are covered by the flu vaccine that is available which is a good thing."

It's not too late to get a flu shot. Vaccines are available throughout flu season which tends to wrap up around May. Those typically at higher risk of contracting the flu or developing complications are:

  • young children
  • the elderly
  • pregnant women
  • people with chronic conditions

Vaccines do not guarantee that you won't get sick but doctors say it can lessen the severity. For more information where you can get a flu shot and for other prevention tips, click here.

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