DHEC announces first flu-related death in South Carolina for 2022 season

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced the first flu-related death in the state for the 2022 season.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said the person was from the Midlands and died from complications due to the flu.

“While we can’t predict what the upcoming flu season will bring, we, like other states, are preparing for significant flu activity this year. It’s critical that everyone get their flu shot now, at the start of the season, as we’re already seeing widespread circulation of the virus,” Bell said.

The flu season begins on October 1.

There have been 788 lab-confirmed cases of the flu and 33 flu-related hospitalizations in South Carolina so far this season.

“We are concerned that there is the potential for a severe flu season in South Carolina and nationally based on what we’ve seen in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “Australia has just experienced one of its worst flu seasons in years, and that may mean that we, too, will experience a flu season that’s much more severe than what we’ve been accustomed to the last few years. Please don’t wait to get your flu shot.”

The flu vaccine is available at DHEC health departments, doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools and workplaces.