Severe flu season having widespread impact on Lowcountry
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The flu season has inundated the Lowcountry, and doctors say it's severe.
The death toll is at fifteen flu-related deaths in South Carolina since this winter's flu season started.
DHEC said in its weekly Flu Watch that 830 people have been hospitalized for flu-related illness, and fifteen people have died. One of which, the CDC listed as in the Lowcountry.
"It's severe, we certainly have people that are in the hospital that are being treated with flu related comorbidities," said Dr. Brian Leal with Trident Medical Center.
Thirteen of the fifteen flu-related deaths have been people that are 65 or older, according to DHEC, and more than half of hospitalizations fall in the same age range.
MUSC says that 106 people tested positive for either Influenza A or Influenza B in the emergency department from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10.
Leal said seniors are especially susceptible to the virus.
"Generally, tends to be people with comorbidities, the elderly, sometimes kids under 2 years seem to be most susceptible," Leal said. "They're the ones we want to make sure we're treating."
The CDC tweeted out that the flu severity indicators are similar to the peak of the 2014-2015 season which the account said was the most severe in recent years.
Leal said so far it looks like this year's flu shot is working.
"The original data out of the CDC is showing its effect, but there are some people that don't get the flu shot and sometimes people just unfortunately don't get the benefit from it either," said Leal.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, sore throat, body aches, chills, runny or stuff nose, headache and fatigue.
The CDC shows the country is seeing a widespread outbreak of the flu.
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