Flu claims 23 more lives in South Carolina, pushes death toll statewide over 150

Warmer temperatures have helped thwart the flu’s spread, but the illness continues to cause its share of grief in South Carolina.

At least 23 deaths have been blamed on the flu in the past week, according to statistics provided by the S.C. Department of Health and Environment Control. Approximately 151 people have died as a result of the illness this flu season.

Those aged 65 and older continue to be hit hardest, as six more in the age group succumbed to the flu. Since October, approximately 2,222 have been hospitalized and a total of 107 have died as a result of the illness.

The news isn’t all doom and gloom on the flu front.

This past week, confirmed cases of the flu were down more than 42 percent from the previous seven-day span.

As has been the case much of this flu season, Horry County numbers went in the same direction as those statewide. According to DHEC’s latest figures, there were 559 confirmed cases, down from 980 the previous week.

Georgetown County also saw a significant decline with 150 being documented in that area over the same seven-day span.

Only two counties statewide reported greater than 1,000 confirmed cases this past week — Greenville and Richland, which had 2,383 and 1,267, respectively.

Symptoms of the flu often include a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness.

Despite such optimism in recent weeks, DHEC officials ask all to continue taking all precautions against the flu, chief among them getting vaccinated.