CONWAY S.C. (WBTW) — Flu cases are increasing nationally, including in South Carolina.
As of April 9, there were 483 cases reported, a spike in cases from the week prior.
Conway Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Richardson said they haven’t noticed a spike, and it’s been a pretty normal flu season for them.
Richardson said without knowing the specifics for each community, their health and safety protocols, vaccination rates and the strain of influenza in that community could all be factors that play a role in a spike in cases.
“I’m sure there are areas, where there are more mask mandates, they’re a little more vigilant on not getting in those confined spaces, they may alter their trajectory on the flu spectrum, because you know they may delay it or they may change the way that the flu is going to show up in their communities,” Richardson said.
Although South Carolina saw an increase in cases, the numbers are minimal compared to the central and south-central regions of the country where the numbers are moderate to high, according to the CDC.
Another factor in the spread of the flu is that this year’s vaccine offered little protection against infection. The CDC found in a study last month, that the shot was just 16% effective at preventing mild or moderate cases.
“You got to look at statistics from two different perspectives in regards to this kind of thing, so especially if a patient is someone who has chronic lung issues, advanced elderly, with a lot of medical problems, especially, 16 percent is not too bad,” Richardson said.
Conway Medical Center has had 58 positive influenza cases since April 1.