COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – State health officials announced Wednesday that South Carolina has had its first flu death of the 2020 season.
“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,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist and the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. “As we’re currently in the throes of the worst public health crisis in 100 years, it’s never been more important for each and every one of us to stay as healthy as possible and one key step we can take is getting our flu shots.”
DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated, according to a press release. Preventing the flu is particularly important for people who are at increased risk of complications from the virus, including young children, adults aged 50 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions.
Contracting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time is possible and could likely cause more complications than if the flu were the sole infection. The flu vaccine available this year protects against the four most common different flu viruses that are expected to circulate this flu season.
The flu vaccine is available from many providers including DHEC health departments, doctors' offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools, and workplaces.