COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– DHEC says Flu season is underway. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging residents to get their annual flu shot and take other precautions to prevent severe cases of influenza.
DHEC says the vaccines are easy to get, as many pharmacies, primary care providers, and vaccine providers offer flu shots.
According to the State Epidemiologist , “While COVID-19 disease rates are declining, it is still a deadly virus that is best staved off through vaccinations and boosters,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “As we approach the cooler months when respiratory illnesses tend to increase, residents will need to make sure they are protecting themselves against COVID-19 and influenza before higher case rates occur. Keeping South Carolinians safe and out of the hospital is our primary goal and we can accomplish that through these life-saving vaccines for both flu and COVID-19.”
According to DHEC, COVID-19 and the flu have many of the same symptoms including fever or chills, coughing and sore throat. Because of this, anyone experiencing symptoms should talk to a health care provider about testing for COVID-19 and flu.
Free COVID-19 testing kits are available at DHEC health departments.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of six months, and is safe for pregnant women and women wishing to become pregnant. A COVID-19 vaccination is also available for anyone over the age of six months, and boosters are also recommended for various age groups and populations. The vaccines for flu and COVID-19 can both be safely administered during the same visit.
DHEC provides weekly flu surveillance reports for South Carolina online at scdhec.gov/flu.