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An image of a bottle of flu vaccine.

AP

South Carolina has been deluged with flu cases compared to most other states, the latest data shows.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina is currently one of only four states with the highest flu rate the agency reports. The other three states are Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia.

To view the CDC flu map in detail, click here or just look at the image below.

Image 11/24/22 at 9:52 am.jpg
An image showing the rate of reported flu cases in the United States. screenshot Courtesy of the CDC

The rest of the Southeast isn’t far behind, with Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina just a step below the highest possible flu activity level.

Flu season started earlier than usual this year and cases have risen rapidly.

A total of 28,797 cases have been reported in South Carolina since the flu season began this year in the week of Nov. 13, the latest data from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control shows. That’s more than 81 times the number of cases reported in the same period last year.

The latest flu data shows a slight week-on-week slowdown in newly reported cases but an increase in flu-related deaths.

In the week of November 13, 3,663 new flu cases were reported in the state, compared to 4,739 reported a week earlier.

Five new flu-related deaths were reported in the week of November 13, compared to one death the previous week. A total of 16 flu-related deaths have been reported so far this year. Of these, five were in the Midlands, five in the Low Country, four in the hinterland and two in the Pee Dee region.

The latest data also shows that 7.4% of patient visits to healthcare providers were for flu-like illness, which was higher than the state’s baseline of 3.6%. And there were 231 flu-related hospitalizations reported by 55 hospitals in the state. So far this season, 1,246 such hospital admissions have been reported.

Here are all of the counties that reported flu activity above the state baseline for the week of November 13.

  • Okonee
  • picking
  • Greenville
  • Spartanburg
  • Anderson
  • York
  • Laurens
  • newberry
  • edge field
  • Lexington
  • kingdom
  • Kershaw
  • Summer
  • Orangeburg
  • colleton
  • Charleston
  • jasper
  • Chesterfield
  • darlington
  • Florence
  • dillon
  • hey

The DHEC and CDC recommend that everyone 6 months and older get the flu shot. Vaccination for flu prevention is especially important for people who are at increased risk of complications from the virus, including young children, adults age 50 and older, pregnant women and people with certain chronic medical conditions, DHEC said.

Click here to learn where to get flu shots in South Carolina.

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Patrick McCreless is the service journalism editor for The State, where he and a team of reporters write about breaking news of the day and issues that help readers in their daily lives and educate them better about their communities. He attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama and grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL.

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