For the first official week of flu season, South Carolina already has three lab-confirmed cases of influenza, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Tuesday.
All three cases were in Beaufort County and were influenza A H1N1, the pandemic virus that first appeared in 2009. The report was for the week ending Oct. 6, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention marks as the first week of flu season each year.
The lab had confirmed an influenza case the week before, and there have been other cases in weeks before then.
“It’s become a year-round thing,” said DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley, saying it probably stems from testing being done in the offseason.
In the latest CDC FluView, both South Carolina and Georgia are listed as having minimal flu activity. Their status is listed as “sporadic,” one step up from “no activity.”
The confirmed cases should add a little urgency for those thinking about getting a flu shot, Beasley said.
“You better do it because we’ve already got the flu here,” he said.
Flu shots are seemingly everywhere right now, Beasley said.
“It’s become a very competitive thing,” he said.