Nine Flu Deaths Last Week

More than 480 people hospitalized

Patrick Gentry
January 18, 2018 - 2:54 pm

New numbers released from state health officials show nine more deaths have been blamed on the flu in South Carolina.

The weekly Department of Health and Environmental Control report shows the number of cases statewide remains widespread for a fifth consecutive week. DHEC said 24 deaths have been attributed to the virus since the current season began this fall. However, the numbers have picked up dramatically since 2018 began.

More than 480 people were hospitalized in the most recent week (January 7-13) alone, and almost 10,000 cases were confirmed. That is more than double the number of cases one week earlier.

Officials say the current flu season has been particularly nasty. The 24 deaths reported through January 13 is much higher than the 7 deaths reported at the same time last year. DHEC said 82 percent of all confirmed cases have been a strain of Influenza Type A that is not normally classified by health officials. As a result, this year’s vaccine — which was grown months in advance — may not inoculate against the most common strainthis season.

The agency still recommends the vaccine to inoculate vulnerable age groups from other forms of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a vaccine can also lessen the impact for those who still get the flu anyway. All but one of the deaths reported this year was an individual older than 50.

Many hospitals are starting to discourage visitors in hopes of limited the flu’s spread.

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