Five straight weeks of widespread flu activity have claimed 10 lives in South Carolina, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported.
According to the state agency’s most recent influenza reports, there were two deaths recorded in the Lowcountry, two in the Pee Dee and six in the Upstate.
The majority of those who succumbed were people age 65 and older.
Additionally, there have been just over 400 confirmed flu cases this season and about 310 hospitalizations in the state.
This is up from last year, which saw 64 cases and 184 hospitalizations.
Beyond the Palmetto State, states across the Southern region are seeing high levels of flu activity, as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent report shows South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia are seeing high influenza activity.
Nationwide, the CDC estimates there have been 3.7 million flu cases, 32,000 hospitalizations and 1,800 deaths from flu.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. The CDC notes that it is not too late to get vaccinated, adding that flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications.
Antiviral medications are an important adjunct to flu vaccine.
Reach Rickey Dennis at 937-4886. Follow him on Twitter @RCDJunior.