Archive | February 22, 2019

Flu Cases Increasing in South Carolina

The number of reported flu cases in South Carolina is increasing this week. And to date, 39 people have died from the flu in our state this season.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include a sudden onset of fever, cough, headache or muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

In this WIS-TV interview, Dr. Jared Stone, ER physician at Lexington Medical Center, talked about complications the flu can cause – and how to tell the difference between the flu and a cold.

Symptoms of the flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications that can include pneumonia, sinus and ear infections, inflammation of the heart or brain, and organ failure. Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by flu.

Importantly, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is recommended for all people at least six months of age and especially for people at higher risk including the older population and people with chronic conditions.