Lowcountry healthcare officials bracing for flu season

Lowcountry healthcare officials bracing for flu season

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WTOC) - Officials say that now is the time to get the flu shot, otherwise the next time you walk through the doors, you could be a flu patient.

Coastal Carolina Hospital is making sure that its workers have their flu shot by Nov. 1, less than a month away. Health officials anticipate another big flu outbreak this season based on predictions from the Centers for Disease Control.

"They're actually expecting it to be worse than it was last year. We saw two peaks in November and March and then this year they're expecting it to peak very early in the season. We just saw a few weeks of no flu during the summer and we've already seen some positive flu cases here in our area,” said Carlye Gilbert said, the Infection Preventionist at Coastal Carolina Hospital

They ask that even if you don't feel you need the flu shot, still get vaccinated to protect those at-risk, like infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Even if you still get the flu the shot can still benefit you.

"It makes it less likely for you to get the flu as bad as you would previously. It helps to build up your immunity for future flu seasons and the CDC does a really great job of trying to isolate which flu we're seeing and which strain, so that we can vaccinate for that particular flu virus,” Gilbert said.

They say the flu shot cannot give you the flu.

"You can get a slight fever, that might last a few days, but it is certainly not the flu. It will go away and it won't last as long as the flu and some soreness and tenderness that you might feel at the site and redness will also occur,” Gilbert said.

Peak flu season is typically between December and February but could go as long as May and you can get the flu year-round.

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