MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's confirmed, and it's here - the flu has made it to the Grand Strand and Pee Dee.
There were four confirmed cases of the flu in one doctor's office last week. The latest Department of Health and Environmental Control flu report shows 10 cases in Florence, and 8 in Horry. Doctors say right now they are mostly seeing strain A, which is one of the strains that is included in this year's vaccine.
The first flu cases started in South Carolina at the end of September, but now that it's in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, the virus can spread fast with all the visitors who pass through the area.
Since the Flu is confirmed to be in the area, doctors say this should be your final warning.
"People that haven't had the flu vaccine, it's kind of like, here's your signal," said Dr. Ron Reynolds with Beach Urgent Care. "People are getting the flu. It usually takes about 7 to 10 days for the Flu vaccine to become effective and get into your system. So you're already late."
Doctors say the area is likely just gearing up. One doctor expects to see cases really ramp up as we head into the holidays. There are some key symptoms people should look out for so they know when it's time to head in to the doctor's office. It changes from year to year, but the main Flu symptoms doctors are seeing now are body aches and high fever. Those should be the first indicators that you might have the virus. But there are a number of symptoms associated with the Flu: body aches, fever, headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. The key to knowing if a person has it is if they feel a combination of different symptoms all at the same time.
Even if it's not clear, doctors say it's a virus where you don't want to take any chances.
"There are several different types of symptoms you can get from it," said Dr. Reynolds. "But the main thing is if you question it, and you're not feeling well, then sure you need to see your doctor."
Dr. Reynolds says we should know by December how serious this year's flu season will be. The flu usually peaks in January and February, and numbers seem to be on track for that.
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