COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina has suffered its first flu deaths of the season.
The state Department of Health and Environmental reports Tuesday that four people in the state have died of flu-associated illnesses. The deaths were reported in the Upstate, Pee Dee and Lowcountry.
Officials say the flu season is just beginning and usually peaks in February.
DHEC is urging people older than six months to be vaccinated against this year's strain of the flu. It takes about two weeks after being vaccinated for the body to build up resistance to the flu.
The news release states in addition to receiving an annual flu vaccination, South Carolinians are encouraged to take the following preventive measures:
"Other good habits include getting plenty of exercise and sleep, managing your stress, drinking water and eating good food to help you stay healthy in the winter and all year," the news release states.
Copyright 2015 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.