Influenza cases reported across South Carolina as flu season off - FOX Carolina 21

Influenza cases reported across South Carolina as flu season officially begins

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The official start of flu season is underway. It’s too soon to know if this year’s influenza strains will have a greater impact than last year but doctors are keeping a close eye on kids because flu cases among children tend to be good indicators of what the population will face.

“Children have served as the first group, the sentinel group to the outbreaks of flu in the community," says Dr. Robin LaCroix, the director of Pediatric Infectious Disease for The Childrens Hospital at GHS. “Children who are in close contact with each other in school bring the illness home to their families."

Flu cases are already being reported across South Carolina. According to DHEC’s latest Flu Watch Report, there were  71 influenza cases reported from 16 counties across all four regions of South Carolina for the week ending Sept 23.

“Certainly flu is a stealth virus," says Dr. LaCroix, “And being protected by vaccine is best insurance against getting it because people are contagious before they’re symptomatic.”

Several GHS practices are offering free flu shots this month. Hillcrest Memorial Hospital will host a drive-through flu clinic Thursday, Oct. 19, from 4-7 p.m. Patewood will offer its own drive-thru clinic on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 4-7 p.m. Greer Memorial Hospital, meanwhile, will work with community partners to open 8 free flu shot clinics from Oct. 6-25.

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