By JEFFREY COLLINS
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina reported three additional flu deaths the week of Christmas as the number of cases continues to rise.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says nine people have now died in South Carolina since the flu season began in September. Three of the deaths have been in Charleston County, with one death apiece reported in Beaufort, Berkeley, Dorchester, Horry, Orangeburg and Richland counties.
DHEC says about 14,000 cases of the flu have been reported so far this season, with about 800 patients sick enough to end up in the hospital.
But this season isn't as bad as last season. In the last week of 2012, South Carolina had already reported 15 deaths and almost 33,000 flu cases in a season that peaked early in November and December.