SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A Summerville woman is urging people to practice good hygiene after she contracted the flu twice in less than a month.
Gracie Horne says she wasn't feeling well a few days after Christmas, and eventually went to urgent care.
"I started feeling really faint," she said. "A lot of pain. I didn't realize I had the flu because I was coughing constantly."
According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the week Horne was diagnosed with her first flu, the state saw nearly 3,100 cases.
Horne said she felt bad for a few days and then headed back to work.
"After that I contracted another type of flu," she said. "And the strange thing was this one was very different. [The doctor] came in and gave me the news and I said can't be. Twice? Not me. I'm never ever sick."
But it happened to Horne and it's something doctors say can happen.
Horne said she experienced two different strains of the flu, the second one leaving her unable to eat, nauseous and tired.
"I didn't have the strength to move, and that was the worst feeling of all," she said.
Flu reports show nearly 14,000 cases of the flu the week Horne was diagnosed with her second round. That's a difference of nearly 11,000 cases since her first diagnosis.
Now Horne is doing everything possible to stay healthy.
"When I leave my office I make sure if I touched the handles of the doors, I use sanitizers," she said. "Or I'll use a napkin and just open the door. I'm really, really conscious now because I don't want it a third time."
Horne added she did not get the flu shot because she's afraid of needles. She also has not gotten the flu in 30 years.
DHEC's weekly report released Wednesday for Jan. 21-27 shows nearly 18,000 cases of the flu in South Carolina.
Nearly 3,000 of those cases were in the Lowcountry.
"We were alerted that this was going to be a pretty bad year for the flu, so I guess it's not that alarming as we think it is," Horne said. "What's really alarming is the amount of deaths, and that's why I can't get it again."
So far this flu season there have been 84 flu-related deaths across the state; 14 in the Lowcountry.