DHEC in the News: Focus On The Flu

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Good Question: Is it too late to get a flu shot?

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) – Nine deaths in just one week.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says that’s how many people died from the flu in South Carolina between January 7 and January 13.

In all, 24 people have died of flu-related complications in the state since flu season started in October.

CDC: Flu season deadly for many SC residents, especially bad for kidney disease patients

It’s a fresh start to the year since flu season is finally over, right?
Wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while seasonal flu outbreaks can start as early as October, they can last as late as May.
Since chronic kidney disease and dialysis patients already suffer from weak immune systems, they are at a high risk of catching the flu, which could lead to feeling miserable, hospitalization – along with an increased risk of infections and medical errors – and even death in some.

Aiken Regional hospital limits visitations amid peak flu season

Medical experts at Aiken Regional Medical Centers are providing important reminders amid this year’s flu season.

In an effort to help prevent the spread of influenza virus and other circulating respiratory illnesses, the Aiken hospital has implemented the clinically appropriate infection control precautions to keep not only visitors and patients healthy, but staff members, too.

“In response to the increasing number of influenza cases, Aiken Regional Medical Centers is temporarily restricting hospital visitation of friends and family age 12 and under,” according to a news release from ARMC. “The only exception is children under 12 years old are allowed to visit our Labor and Delivery area.”

Think flu season’s been rough in York County? Brace yourself: it hasn’t peaked yet.

ROCK HILL — Flu season hasn’t peaked yet in York County, according to Piedmont Medical Center infectious disease specialist Dr. Arash Poursina.

“Traditionally, in this part of the country, we peak sometime around February or the end of January,” he said. “I expect it to actually increase over the next few weeks.”

The hospital is full of flu patients with significant complications, many suffering from flu-related pneumonia, sepsis and respiratory failures, Poursina said.

“It’s been crazy this year,” he said.

School custodial staff extra busy with flu season in full swing

Horry County, SC (WPDE) — Florence districts and Horry County Schools report no abnormal numbers for flu cases so far this flu season.

“There’s always something to be wiped down, cleaned, vacuumed, there’s always something to do,” said Shannon Angelo, the custodial supervisor at River Oaks Elementary.

There is extra cleaning during flu season.

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