Flu season slows in SC, but it could take off again

January 16, 2013 

Big sneeze ILLUS.jpg

300 dpi 2 col x 3 in / 96x76 mm / 327x259 pixels Chris Ware color illustration of a man sneezing into a tissue. Lexington Herald-Leader 2005

KEYWORDS: krtflu krtinfluenza krtcoldflu big sneeze sneezing cough tissue germs germ illness spreading coughing cold flu influenza sick sickness runny nose sneezing temperature fever symptoms krthealthmed krtnational national krtworld world krtcoldflu krthealth health krt aspecto aspectos salud illustration ilustracion grabado gripe estornudar enfermo mareado lx contributor coddington ware 2005 krt2005

CHRIS WARE — KRT

Flu season slowed, but it could take off again

Statistics released last week indicate a downward trend, or at least a plateau, in the flu season in South Carolina, which health officials attribute to the Christmas holiday break from schools.

The statistics for the week ending Jan. 5 showed 2.12 percent of patients at physician offices had influenza-like illnesses, compared to 5.82 percent the previous week. Local school districts also reported few cases in the first days back from break, but state health officials expect those numbers will be on the rise again in the coming weeks.

Of course, even when the percentages drop, people who come down with the flu are hurting. The number of people hospitalized with lab-confirmed flu the week ending Jan. 5 dropped from 229 to 198, and the number of flu-related deaths that week was three, bringing the season total to 22.

The best defense against the flu is immunization. Flu shots are available at physician offices, clinics and many pharmacies.

Joey Holleman

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