DHEC in the News: Flu, opiods, E. coli

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

Protect yourself and get the flu shot

COLUMBIA – Flu activity is continuing to increase in the Palmetto state and while it’s unknown when the flu season activity will peak, DHEC is encouraging South Carolinians to protect themselves against the flu.

“The Influenza A strain continues to be the most frequently reported this season in South Carolina and nationally,” said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC Immunization Medical Consultant. “When there are high levels of the H3N2 strain circulating, there tends to be more severe illness and a higher number of deaths.”

From pain medication to killers: York County officials, leaders discuss opioid crisis

ROCK HILL – For Eric Bedingfield’s son, one choice led to a battle that would eventually take his life.

York County and South Carolina medical professionals, elected officials and community leaders discussed the rising problem of opioid misuse and abuse during the York County Opioid Summit Thursday at the Magnolia Room in Laurel Creek.

In December, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a statewide public health emergency in an effort to deal with the state’s rising death toll related to opioid abuse.

General Interest

E. coli outbreak linked to lettuce over, CDC says

An E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens distributed to 15 states has been delcared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were two cases of food-borne illnesses in New York related to leafy greens that had occurred by Dec. 12, the federal agency said.

CDC officials were unable to determine the source of the E. coli outbreak that sickened 25 people and killed one person in California. No recall of romaine lettuce or other vegetables was ordered.

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