Flu season hits the Grand Strand - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Flu season hits the Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - More cases of the flu are being reported in Horry County and both pharmacists and doctors are noticing the increase.

At Rivertown Pharmacy in Conway, people are already reaching for the flu medicine.

"We've seen a huge amount of Tamiflu going out recently," said Delana Green, a pharmacist. "The flu season actually started earlier this year than normal."

More patients have been walking through the doors of Beach Urgent Care the past couple of weeks with flu-like symptoms as well.

Dr. Ron Reynolds said the holidays are a catalyst for passing around the flu.

"Between that, the cooler weather, the fact that more people tend to be inside, those are all elements that play in the favor of spreading the flu," he said.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported more than 700 confirmed cases of the flu in 29 counties last week. There have been 2,000 cases reported so far this season.

Horry County and Charleston County had the highest number of new flu cases last week. The figures don't represent all of the possible flu cases because some people may not go to the doctor to get tested for the flu.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu season is still at a low.

It usually starts peaking in December and January and flu shots are really the only way to escape the possibly serious illness.

People can track flu cases and look at predictions from various organizations at HealthMap Flu Cast, but Dr. Reynolds said people need to keep in mind the difficulty of accurately predicting how the flu will develop.

"The predictions on the flu season are always quite erratic. at any point of time, in any flu season, you'll hear all kinds of reports, this is going to be a bad flu season, this is going to be a minor flu season," he said.

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