DHEC says flu activity continues to rise in South Carolina.

The agency said it is unsure when flu activity will peak this season and encouraged South Carolinians to guard themselves against the flu. "The Influenza A strain continues to be the most frequently reported this season in South Carolina and nationally," said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC Immunization Medical Consultant. "When there are high levels of the H3N2 strain circulating, there tends to be more severe illness and a higher number of deaths."According to DHEC, 46 people in the state have died as a result of the flu. The agency said people over the age of 65 have the highest hospitalization rate and number of deaths. AnMed Health said they had 1,236 positive flu cases so far this month. Last January, they said there was a total of 244 positive cases. The hospital said six people tested positive for the flu in November and 62 tested positive in December. According to AnMed, their flu season peak last year was in March with a total of 657 positive flu cases. DHEC said the best protection against the flu is the flu shot. The agency said infants, young children, older adults, and pregnant women have a higher risk of complications from the flu. "Because we are seeing more severe flu activity this season, it is especially important for these high-risk individuals to get vaccinated if they haven't already," Dr. Foo said. For more information, visit the DHEC website. MORE NEWS: Greenville Co. Schools apologize, make changes after mix-up involving 6-year-oldCopyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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