CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Palmetto State is one of 28 in the nation reporting a high activity of influenza-like illnesses, the Center for Disease Control says.
Activity levels are tracked based on the percentage of outpatient visits because of influenza or illnesses that resemble the flu compared with the same number in weeks with little or no flu virus circulation, the CDC website says.
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming are also listed as having a high activity level for the week ending Feb. 11, the most recent week compiled.
The region that includes South Carolina also reported eight pediatric deaths.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee also are included in that same measuring area, the site states.
The most frequently identified influenza virus subtype reported by public health laboratories during the week was influenza A, also known as H3.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. It also recommends everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness.