CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Health experts say flu season is still active and Charleston County is seeing a spike in flu cases.
Reports from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control show an increase in confirmed flu cases in Charleston. The latest data shows cases rose from 100 to 431, as of the Feb. 14-20 reporting period.
Charleston County is reporting more flu cases than any county.
"We've seen a recent dramatic spike in the number of flu cases," Dr. Keith Borg, director of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the
Medical University of South Carolina, said. "In South Carolina, we're up to 847 in the past week. We saw about six cases overnight, just last night."
Borg wants people to be aware of the hike, though he clarifies the timing is not unusual.
"It's actually a traditional time for flu season," Borg said. "In recent years we've seen flu relatively early in the year, and this is a more typical time for flu season."
Since October, nearly 500 people across the state have gone to the hospital for the flu, according to the latest DHEC data.
Twelve people in South Carolina have died from the flu this season.
Borg said people should look out for symptoms including fever, muscle aches, and fatigue.
"We absolutely want to get the message out about prevention," Borg said, adding that covering your mouth, washing your hands, not sharing personal items is critical to staying healthy. The physician said it's also not too late to get your flu shot.
"The shot can still help," Borg said, "and actually this year it's two to three times better than last year."
Information on DHEC-sponsored flu shot clinics can be found here: http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/Vaccinations/FluVaccines/FindSeasonalFluClinics/