The flu has arrived in South Carolina, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
DHEC announced Monday that five cases of influenza have been confirmed in the Midlands.
"This confirmation reinforces the need for vaccination and the good sense steps to prevent the spread of the flu virus," said Linda Bell, M.D. and state epidemiologist.
"Vaccination remains the single best way to prevent the spread of flu," Bell said. "We recommend the flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age or older. Flu season typically peaks in February in South Carolina. But you should get vaccinated as soon as possible to give your body time to strengthen its natural resistance to the virus before you are exposed. We strongly recommend flu vaccine for anyone who wants to reduce their risk from flu and its complications."
DHEC said they will focus their resources on providing flu shots to people who are uninsured, under-insured, and those who can not get a flu shot elsewhere.
"You can help reduce the chance of spreading flu and other viruses by covering your cough with a tissue or your sleeve, washing your hands often and staying home if you get sick," Dr. Bell said. "Another good idea is to live healthy – eat properly and get plenty of exercise and rest."
DHEC has set up a website for people to find when and where flu shots are being offered. It can be found here.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.