Now that we’re getting into the typical peak of flu season in South Carolina, a decrease in activity may provide a false sense of security.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) puts out a weekly “Flu Watch” report. The most up-do-date numbers posted on their website showed a decrease in flu activity across the state for the second week of January.

However, there was a surge in the number of flu-related deaths. DHEC reports five people died from flu-related causes in the week January 6 – 12. DHEC reported three flu-related deaths in the “previous weeks” combined.

That put the state at 19 for the current season.

Despite the decrease in activity in week two, it is still considered widespread in South Carolina.

Now that school is settling into a normal schedule again, and more people are spending time indoors because of the cold temperatures, activity may rebound.

Doctors say it is definitely not too late to get vaccinated, and that the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.