Flu season starts early in SC, kills one

MYRTLE BEACH, SC(WMBF) - It is not even December, but the flu is hitting South Carolina hard. The flu has already killed one person in Barnwell County.

Flu season started earlier than usual, but the flu is not the only thing you should worry about on the Grand Strand according to The Department of Health and Environmental Control.

"We've have a lot of bronchitis right now and still having a lot of sinus related issues," said Dr. Ron Reynolds at Beach Urgent Care.  "Then just some low grade viral type of diseases that are going around."

Reynolds said the week after Thanksgiving is sort of a kick off to a season of sickness.

"Anytime you have a major holiday is a great time for bugs from another part of the country to be transplanted into other parts of the country," Reynolds said.

If you are someone who has never received a flu shot or think you will not need one, Reynolds said that many of his patients share the same view until they get sick.

"We run into that very frequently then we'll get the person that comes in that followed that philosophy who are very very ill," Reynolds said.  "At that point in time that philosophy changes for that person."

Health officials estimate 400,000 people in South Carolina will get the flu during the flu season.

Reynolds said you should get a flu shot, but added just because you get the flu shot does not mean you will not pick up some strain of flu.

That is because each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health officials come together to essentially guess which strains of flu will cause the most problems each year. Those are the strains mixed into vaccines.

"Well, flu shots are very effective if the strains that happen to be going around when flu season actually starts are the ones that are in the flu vaccine," Reynolds said.

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