CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Coroner confirms a Hanahan teenager has died from the flu.
Emily Getman, 18, passed away April 12 at MUSC, according to Deputy Coroner Sheila Williams.
According to Mary Anne Robertson, who claims to be Getman's aunt, Emily started showing symptoms of the flu April 4. The flu was confirmed April 6, and Getman was admitted to MUSC Saturday morning. Robertson added the flu evolved into sepsis, causing her brain to swell.
Getman's obituary states she was a student at Hanahan High School and a member of the school's marching band color guard.
Hanahan High School Principal Richard Raycroft had this statement regarding Getman's passing:
"We [Hanahan] are a close-knit community school. We joined together to express our support, compassion and love for one another as we grieve the loss of Emily. Emily was one of our students, one of our friends, one of our Hanahan children. We love her, will miss her and will never forget her."
Getman's funeral was held Wednesday, April 19 at J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Northwoods Chapel.
"She accomplished all of her dreams," Roberston said. "She was a model, had found the love of her life, and was looking forward to the future."
A flu report from the Department of Health and Environmental Control states three people died in South Carolina last week (April 9-15) from the flu.
Dr. Katy Richardson, the Medical Director for Regional Lowcountry DHEC, said one case was from the Lowcountry, while two others were in the Midlands.
"We had a more severe flu season this year than last year, and we're continuing to see it later into the Spring than we saw it last year," Richardson said.
The recent flu report shows Getman was one of more than 80 people hospitalized across the state.
Richardson said she's concerned about the high number especially in mid-April.
"Many people are hoping that it will end soon, but we certainly need to continue to take precautions," she said.
While there are still high numbers of reported flu cases, the report shows there has been a decrease in influenza activity within the last week; moving from a widespread threat to just regional.
However, doctors still urge people to get the vaccine if you haven't yet.
"We do still expect that the flu will be around in two weeks, and it does take two weeks for it to become effective," Richardson said.
DHEC reports there have been 15 flu-related deaths in the Lowcountry. This number is behind the Upstate and Midlands at both 20, while the Pee Dee region has seven.