South Carolina Records First Flu-Related Death Ahead of Flu Season
In a grim start to the flu season, South Carolina reports its first flu-associated death even before the official October 1 start of the flu season. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that an individual from the Midlands region passed away due to complications from the flu.
Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist and DHEC’s Director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, emphasizes the seriousness of the virus and the importance of flu prevention. With flu-related deaths being preventable, Dr. Bell urges everyone, aged 6 months and older, to get vaccinated against the flu.
While flu vaccinations are beneficial for everyone, certain groups, including young children, pregnant women, older adults, and individuals with chronic health conditions, are at higher risk for complications and are particularly encouraged to get vaccinated.
It is crucial to note that the flu vaccine takes around two weeks for the body’s immune system to respond fully and provide protection. With the current climate of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), DHEC is preparing for a significant flu season.
Vaccination serves as the best defense against severe illness from the flu, COVID-19, and RSV. Individuals are advised to consult with their healthcare providers to evaluate the risks and benefits associated with the flu vaccine.
To make the flu vaccine easily accessible, various providers, including DHEC health departments, doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools, and workplaces, will offer it. They will all ensure the necessary safety measures are in place for administering the flu vaccine.
Addressing concerns about receiving both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines concurrently, health experts confirm that it is safe to do so. The flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered at the same time without any adverse effects.
In other related news, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first product for preventing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease in infants and an RSV vaccine for adults aged 60 and above. These developments showcase ongoing efforts to combat respiratory illnesses.
For those interested in getting a flu vaccine at DHEC health department clinics, appointments can be made by calling 1-855-472-3432 or visiting scdhec.gov/fluclinics. The website and helpline will provide information about the nearest location where flu vaccinations are available.
As flu season approaches, it is vital for individuals to protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated against the flu. Remember, prevention is the key to a healthier and safer future.
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