First South Carolina flu death of season in Dorchester County - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

First South Carolina flu death of season in Dorchester County

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A woman from Dorchester County became the first flu-related death in South Carolina this season, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Thursday.

"We are in the early stages of our state's flu season. It is important to get vaccinated now. The vaccine takes about two weeks to build up your body's protection against the virus, and vaccination is - by far - the best way to prevent the spread of the flu," said Linda Bell, M.D. and state epidemiologist.

RELATED | 10/21/13 DHEC confirms first flu cases in South Carolina

Bell added, that flu activity usually peaks in February in our state, so the season is really just getting started.

"Therefore, we strongly encourage vaccination for all persons six months and older to prevent the flu and its potentially serious consequences," Bell said.

A DHEC press release provided the following information for people to take into account as we head into the peak of flu season.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause mild to severe illness and can be deadly - especially to vulnerable people, including the very young, the elderly and those with certain chronic health conditions. Symptoms can include a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat, and nasal congestion or stuffiness.

Dr. Bell added that other flu prevention guidelines include:

  • Staying away from people who are sick. 
  • Staying home from work, school and errands if you are sick. By doing so, you will help keep others from getting sick, too.
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue if one is handy. Throw it away immediately after use. Otherwise, use the crook of your elbow.
  • Washing your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when someone touches something that is covered with germs and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.



 

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