Influenza hits coastal South Carolina

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Doctors in the Grand Strand say they've been seeing a rush of flu patients, and numbers from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control back those claims.

According to DHEC, between Dec. 9 and Dec. 15, doctors in Horry County reported nearly 448 cases, Georgetown County nearly 396, and Charleston County almost hit 542 during that span.

Dr. Ron Reynolds of Beach Urgent care in Myrtle Beach says many of the cases can likely be attributed to tourism.

"The [high] number of travelers we get, they're bringing in their influenza from where they're living into this area, and ya know we do them the same benefit, we give ours to them when they leave," Reynolds explained.

Reynolds says the virus isn't just impacting one age group, either.

"It's pretty much across the board, maybe a little bit more in the young adult category, but generally what we've been seeing is across the [age] groups," Reynolds said.

As the flu season still has yet to hit its peak, Reynolds says prevention comes down to following some simple advice from doctors.

"So much of it is really just doing the basics...hand washing hands is critically important, as is [getting the] flu vaccine," Reynolds stressed. "It's just in a season such as this, there's no reason not to get one."

Reynolds says currently there are plenty of flu vaccines to go around and even a shortage of the popular flu medicine Tamiflu reported by WMBF News earlier in December, is over.

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