For South Carolina, it’s the prime time of flu season right now. Flu expert Dr. Robert Mills of East Cooper Regional Medical Center near Charleston says from January to March he sees an influx of flu patients.
We’re in the widespread category right now so we are seeing probably a proportion of five to ten percent of the cases that I have seen this week are Influenza related. So, we are seeing a lot right now and it is very widespread in our population.
Mills says the flu population is about the same throughout South Carolina, but a little more prevalent with certain groups.
I get the impression that our activity level is similar throughout the state right now. I do think that in times it is worse in Urban populations where you have much more likely spread within tightly grouped populations. But, according to the CDC’s website and the maps, we are all suppose to be widespread right now.
Mills is a doctor in Charleston. He says due to where the city is located, and the nearby port bringing in ships from all over the world, it seems to see the flu earlier than other regions of the state.
The cities that are the most traveled to and from and that have a dense population traditionally have more case. And, since we are a port city, we often get outbreaks of it earlier because of the exposure and the transcending of the population and how frequent airport travel is here.
As for tips on preventing the flu–
First, get a flu vaccine. Secondly, you want to stop the spread of germs, so hand washing, covering cough, avoid people who are sneezing or coughing, and then cleansing surfaces where germs could be. And, finally, if you think you do have the flu, get a flu test from your doctor, and if it’s caught early take prescription medications, which are much more effective than the over-the-counter ones.
Last year, the H1N1 Virus struck South Carolina. So, what about this year?
I haven’t heard as much about that this year. The H1N1 is actually covered in this year’s flu vaccine, so there’s not two separate vaccines this year, there’s just one. We don’t seem to be having as big of a problem with it this year.
To see a map of the flu outbreak log on to www.cdc.gov.