S.C. health officials report first pediatric flu-related death of season

State health officials on Monday announced South Carolina’s first pediatric flu-related death of the season.
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 10:49 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials on Monday announced South Carolina’s first pediatric flu-related death of the season.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said the reported death was a child in the Midlands.

DHEC is urging people to get flu vaccinations citing widespread flu activity in the first month of the season, which began on Oct. 1.

“Although we are early in the season, we have been seeing widespread flu activity since the first week. This suggests we could have a severe flu season, and we all must take actions to protect ourselves and others,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said.

Bell said groups such as those 65 and over, young children and those with underlying medical conditions were most at risk for complications, but complications could occur in anyone.

Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone six months of age and older who is eligible for the vaccine. DHEC said it takes two weeks to build up protection after getting vaccinated.

State health officials said the active flu season coincides with ongoing COVID-19 cases and an increased number of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, cases.

Low or no-cost flu vaccinations are available by appointment at DHEC health department clinics. Appointments can be made by calling 1-855-472-3432 or scdhec.gov/fluclinics to find a location.