If it seems like there’s more sniffling and coughing and emptier offices, it’s probably because this year’s flu season is in full swing in South Carolina.
Health officials report widespread flu activity in the state during the last week of January.
Since October of last year, when the 2016-17 flu season began, nearly 15,000 cases have been confirmed through testing, DHEC said in its latest report.
In the last week of January alone, the state recorded 3,558 cases of the flu, with Richland and Lexington counties combined reporting 1,016 test-confirmed cases. Hospitalizations due to the flu or flu-like illness, also spiked at the end of January.
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The Midlands has reported the highest number of deaths due to the flu this season. While 13 people have been felled by the illness statewide, 7 were from the Midlands, 2 were from the Upstate and 4 were from the Lowcountry. Nine of the 13 were 65-year-old or older.
And while the flu poses the great risk to the very old and very young, even healthy young people can be brought low.
Influenza type A was determined responsible for the death in January of 16-year-old White Knoll athlete and USC baseball commit Brett Williams.