Ga. AND S.C. (WTOC) - Flu cases continue to rise in both South Carolina and Georgia.
Flu cases in South Carolina are high and widespread right now. The flu is also widespread in Georgia, with the Centers for Disease Control showing at least 200 people have been to the hospital for flu symptoms in this state alone. Two deaths have been reported.
The CDC has created this interactive map to track flu cases in each state.
In South Carolina this is forcing some hospitals to take precautions to keep others healthy.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital has now implemented their flu restriction guideline for visitors. They say they do this to protect everyone in the hospital and those visiting.
The restrictions were posted because 50 percent of those tested for the flu were positive showing a peak in the season so far. Hospital leaders say it’s about limiting the exposure.
“The key is we don’t want people who are sick to be around people who are not sick yet and may not have been immunized and so we want to just try to isolate those two populations the best that we can,” said a Beaufort Memorial Hospital Doctor.
The guidelines posted around the hospital say those under 18 cannot visit as well as those who are feeling flu like symptoms. Doctors say if you suspect you have the flu, call your doctor before going to the hospital.
“The best thing is to call your primary care doc and determine whether or not you need to come in and get seen, get swabbed or whether they want to just treat you.”
Doctors say they will continue to monitor the flu activity on a weekly basis and lift the restrictions when safe.
One urgent care center in Savannah says at least half of their patients coming in have the flu. Most of them are children.
Physicians say a lot of the patients haven’t had this years flu shot.
“It’s generally people who haven’t been vaccinated a lot of young kids, especially when it starts in the schools, it’s very contagious," said Donna McAllister, Physician Assistant at ExpertCare Urgent Care in Savannah. "We’ve seen whole families come in where one person gets it and then the next thing you know, everybody in the family has gotten it.”
Here’s some steps you can take to protect from the flu:
- Wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Get a flu vaccine.
You can use this tool from the CDC to locate clinics offering flu vaccines.