More Flu Deaths Reported in SC Last Week

The increase is Flu B cases was also showing up in data released by area hospitals.

Since the season started on September 1 through this past week 100 Muskogee County residents have been hospitalized with the flu, the state reported.

"Flu season in Kentucky peaks in February and cases can extend into April and May", Lexington Fayette County Health Department spokesperson Kevin Hall said. That's according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The dead, mostly older patients, all had high-risk health conditions, agency leaders said. "There is no guarantee that we've even peaked or seen the highest numbers yet".

"That can happen", Swift said. The number of people seeing a health care provider for flu symptoms is nearly as high as 2009, when the flu hit pandemic levels.

State Health officials are saying that this year's flu vaccine is about 36 percent effective.

But more than half of kids who got a flu vaccine this season have avoided the illness.

Frank Holland said his wife thought the Tamiflu her doctor recommended was too expensive, so she didn't get it. But they are preventing just 25 percent of illnesses caused by the H3N2 virus. According to the latest flu report released on Friday, 195 Hoosiers have died this season.

One or two shots that confer lifetime or years-long immunity at near 100 percent effectiveness is the model we have for serious illnesses like measles, mumps, rubella and other viruses.

"Any type of vaccine is better than none", said Scott Hensley, a University of Pennsylvania microbiologist who has led studies that raised critical questions about the vaccine. "We had a one day vaccination event where we vaccinated 2800 people in public health units".

"Even if it is 30 percent effective, that's still better than no protection", she says.

You can also get a free flu shot at your parish health unit. They advised people to treat themselves at home, if possible.

While officials with the Tennessee Department of Health [TDH] said it is hard to track the actual number of flu cases in Rhea County, a TDH spokeswoman said that flu activity this year has been significant.

In Mississippi, the health department clinics are only giving flu shots to children and to the elderly, and there is a small charge for that. Insurance companies will be billed, and vaccines will be free to those who are uninsured.

  • Joanne Flowers