1st flu-related SC death reported
By Jerry Bellune
The state has suffered its first flu-related death of the season.
The victim was not in Lexington County.
DHEC epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said, "Sadly, an individual from the Pee Dee region has died from complications due to the flu, our first confirmed influenza-associated death of the season."
The Chronicle has asked DHEC to be more transparent about this and future flu fatalities.
The Pee Dee is large and DHEC gave no age range.
We think DHEC should be specific in its reports and give deaths by county and age range as it does covid cases and deaths.
DHEC originally resisted this until Gov.Henry McMaster forced them to.
Rep. Chip Huggins of Irmo and SC Press Association Director Bill Rogers have joined us in calling for DHEC to be more specific about case numbers of school students and staff infected.
DHEC recommends everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated.
Preventing the flu is particularly important for people who are at increased risk of complications from the virus.
These include young children, adults aged 50 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions.
Contracting the flu and covid-19 at the same time is possible and could likely cause more complications.
The vaccines available this year protect you against the 4 most common flu viruses.
Your flu shot reduces your chances of contracting the flu and, if contracted, lessens chances of death.
The flu vaccine is available from DHEC health departments, doctors' offices, clinics and pharmacies.
In Lexington, flu shots can be arranged by calling Riley's Drugs at 803-359-2587 or the Medicine Mart at 803-957-5969.
For the latest covid and flu news, please check this web site daily.
We post the latest updates usually after 3 pm when DHEC releases them publicly.