DHEC in the News: Flu, opioids, recycling

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

New flu cases balloon in Horry as medical facilities seek to stop its spread

Headed into the final week of January, Horry County had been spared the worst of flu season.

It took only a span of seven days for all of that to change.

A recent S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control report revealed 701 new flu cases in Horry County were diagnosed within the past week. Prior to that, approximately 795 cases were diagnosed since the start of flu season in October.

‘A miracle drug’: How Narcan is impacting opioid crisis, first responders locally

In 2016, more than 46,000 people nationwide overdosed on opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death rate from the drug type was a historical high for the United States—the CDC reporting most overdoses having occurred that year from heroin, prescription opioids and fentanyl.

The weight of the country’s rising opioid crisis is also being felt across South Carolina and the tri-county, as an increasing number of law enforcement agencies are equipping officers with Narcan to reverse the drug’s fatal effects.

New recycling program picking up steam at High Point Academy

A new recycling program at High Point Academy has become so popular it already needs to be expanded.

The school recently put plastic bins in every classroom and several large bins throughout the school thanks to an S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control grant. The $1,500 helped Rivers Carroll, an eighth-grade science teacher, put the program in place.

“I noticed, while they’re eating, they’re throwing a lot of stuff away. And I come from a management background at a grocery store,” he said. “There’s a large population of consumers here. I thought, ‘Hey, this isn’t too good.’”

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