Lowcounty seeing uptick in respiratory infections

While you’re passing the turkey and dressing around the table for Thanksgiving, make sure you aren’t passing along germs with it.

Lowcounty seeing uptick in respiratory infections

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (WTOC) - While you’re passing the turkey and dressing around the table for Thanksgiving, make sure you aren’t passing along germs with it.

Coastal Carolina Hospital said they’ve given over 300 flu shots at the Hardeeville location so far this flu season, still, they’re seeing cases already this year.

Peak flu season is typically between December and February, and the CDC warns that flu season this year is expected to be worse than last year.

“We’ve seen a handful of flu cases since September first, but this week with our cool temperatures and our low humidity, we’ve seen an increase," said Carlye Gilbert, an infection preventionist at Coastal Carolina Hospital.

The flu is a type of respiratory infection, but not the only kind, and they’ve seen many respiratory infections in children coming through their doors.

Fortunately they’re easy to prevent, and you can teach your kids about proper hygiene to make sure they don’t pick up an illness at daycare or school.

“Hand hygiene is key. Respiratory etiquette. Coughing into your elbow crease instead of coughing into your hand, and do sneeze into a tissue and if you do, throw it away in the garbage and just make sure you wash your hands afterwards. That’s key,” Gilbert explained.

With the holidays coming up, if you’re sick, it may mean you have to miss out on the pumpkin pie.

“If you’re sick, please stay home," Gilbert added. "If you haven’t had a fever in 24 hours, you’re generally not infectious, but good hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and, really if you’re not feeling well, just stay home and rest up.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has online “Flu Vaccine Finder” that locates flu vaccine clinics near you. All you have to do is enter your zip code, city and state to find mapped locations of clinics.

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