COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Influenza, or "the flu," has officially arrived in South Carolina, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Monday.
"Our agency's Bureau of Laboratories has confirmed five cases of flu in the Midlands area of the state," said Linda Bell, M.D. and state epidemiologist. "This confirmation reinforces the need for vaccination and the good sense steps to prevent the spread of the flu virus.
"Vaccination remains the single best way to prevent the spread of flu," Dr. Bell said. "We recommend the flu vaccine for everyone six months of age or older. Flu season typically peaks in February in South Carolina. But you should get vaccinated as soon as possible to give your body time to strengthen its natural resistance to the virus before you are exposed. We strongly recommend flu vaccine for anyone who wants to reduce their risk from flu and its complications."
Influenza is a naturally occurring viral disease that causes respiratory infections. Symptoms may include:
- A sudden onset of fever
- Dry cough
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or stuffiness