First child flu-related death reported in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – A flu-related illness has taken the life of a child in the Midlands,¬†¬†according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The death occurred in DHEC’s Midlands Health Region.

This is the first pediatric death reported in South Carolina this season.

As of Thursday (2/8), 106 people had died from the flu. Twenty-two people died in one week.

“We extend our condolences to this family and all families in South Carolina who have suffered lost during this flu season,” said Dr. Lilian Peake, DHEC’s Director of Public Health.

“This flu season is turning out to be particularly challenging. Along with the rest of the country, South Carolina is dealing with widespread flu activity,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell. “We want all South Carolinians to understand how serious this illness is and how important it is for everyone to take precautions.”

In a news release sent Friday afternoon, DHEC said:

“DHEC continues to encourage South Carolinians to get a flu shot. The agency recently began waiving administrative fees that some pay for a flu shot at its public health clinics. In any case, cost will not be a barrier to flu vaccines offered in DHEC clinics. In addition, many health care providers, pharmacies and community organizations offer low- or no-cost flu shots, and most insurance plans cover at least part of the cost.”