Four confirmed flu deaths in the Lowcountry - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Four flu deaths in Lowcountry

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

In the Lowcountry, the Department of Health and Environmental Control confirms four people have died from the flu so far this year.

In the South, flu season typically begins in January and February.

Across South Carolina, there have been 52 flu hospitalizations this week and 175 since Sept. 29.

"Statewide we have five deaths and we have confirmed four deaths in the Lowcountry, two from Charleston County, one in Dorchester County and one in Berkeley County," said Dana Millet, DHEC's Lowcountry Health Director.  

In 2012, there were 46 deaths in South Carolina and only 1 in 2011.

Despite the increase in the number of deaths, DHEC officials say it's still too early to tell what kind of flu season this year will be like. But there are some basic precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family.

"It's never too late to vaccinate, wash your hands frequently, cough into your sleeve, hydrate and stay home if you're ill," said Millet.

And you can always get a flu shot from your local pharmacy, grocery store or DHEC clinic.

"Children, adults, elderly, we have flu vaccines for all ages, insured, under-insured or uninsured," she added.  

So far DHEC has vaccinated more than 16,000 students in the Lowcountry this year.

And they hope to vaccinate even more.

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