Flu Season Hits Earlier Than Expected

FORT MILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Sadly two people, a child and an adult have died from the flu so far this year in the Palmetto state, both from the Midlands region according to South Carolina DHEC.

Healthcare leaders saying the flu season started earlier than usual this year and they are expecting it to get busier.

Here in York County, the Emergency Director at Piedmont Medical Center Fort Mill, says the Emergency Department is treating many patients who are sick.

At Carolina Pharmacy in Rock Hill, people are not only picking up their medications, but also getting tested for the flu.

Pharmacy manager, Olivia Hill says along with COVID testing, they are now offering the Flu test and soon will be offering RSV testing.

“So the Flu is definitely hitting the community.  So they are coming in and getting tested, not feeling very great, not sure what is going on then they will test positive for the Flu and or COVID”, says Hill.

Not only tests, but Hill says many are coming in to a get a flu vaccine. The Center for Disease Control and prevention recommends everyone ages 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine annually.

“Its so important to get the Flu vaccine every year, even if you are pregnant” says Hill.

Dr. Nicholas Demers, with Piedmont Medical Center Fort Mill says they are seeing more patients who are sick than anticipated since opening their doors in September. He says the early flu season is playing a major role in that.

“Typically we expect flu season to be some where from January trough April, but this year in the Southeast region we are seeing an increase of almost 100 percent higher than we would expect right now”, says Demers.

Demers encourages those who think they may have the flu or COIVD to seek help sooner than later to receive antiviral medications to help shorten symptoms.

Demers also adds most flu symptoms can be managed at home, but if you have shortness of breath, any respiratory distress or a child with an unmanageable fever, do not hesitant to come to the emergency department.

South Carolina DHEC says another factor in the rise of flu cases is this is the first time in the last couple of years that masks are not being worn regularly.

So that added layer of protection is missing which can cause an increase in flu and other viruses such as RSV.

Healthcare leaders say to protect yourself from the FLU, COVID and RSV, wash hands often, cover your cough or sneeze, wear a mask if you’re at risk and stay home and away from others if you’re feeling sick and if you can, get vaccinated for the flu and covid-19.

Carolina Pharmacy is offering COVID/Flu testing. There is an out of pocket cost. You can register online.

The pharmacy is also offering at-home COVID tests and most insurance companies are covering the cost. To learn more visit, https://carolinapharmacy.com/

Previous articleEarly Voting Numbers Released
Next articleCN2 Picture of the Day – Bowers & Small Receive Highest FFA Awards