DHEC confirms state’s first flu death of 2020 season in Pee Dee region

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — DHEC confirmed Wednesday the state’s first flu death of the 2020 flu season in the Pee Dee region.

“Sadly, an individual from the Pee Dee region has died from complications due to the flu, our first confirmed influenza-associated death of the season,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist and DHEC’s Director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. “As we’re currently in the throes of the worst public health crisis in 100 years, it’s never been more important for each and every one of us to stay as healthy as possible and one key step we can take is getting our flu shots.

DHEC recommends everyone six months of age or older get vaccinated. DHEC also said contracting the flu at the same time as COVID-19 can cause even more complications.

“Another reason why it’s important to get your flu shot this year is we must avoid overwhelming our hospitals, ICUs, and ventilators as best we can with both flu and COVID-19 patients on the increase,” Bell said.

DHEC said the flu vaccine available this year will protect against the four most common different flu viruses expected to circulate.

Flu shots are available from DHEC health departments, doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools, and workplaces.

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