Some schools in Greenville County, South Carolina had so many kids out from the flu they had to report the situation to state health officials, the Greenville News reports. Another small private school in the same area closed completely it had so many sick kids, according to Fox Carolina.
Flu cases are increasing not just in the upstate region but around South Carolina, public health officials say. Last week 189 people were hospitalized and three died from the flu, according to new numbers from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control
So far this flu season, 915 have been hospitalized for flu-related symptoms and 25 people have died, according to DHEC. “South Carolina reported widespread activity this week. This is the fifth consecutive week at widespread activity,” DHEC said in its weekly flu update.
DHEC reported 1,232 confirmed flu cases so far this year, well above the average 800 cases for the season, according to DHEC.
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Last year, South Carolina had almost 3,000 hospitalizations and 161 deaths, the department reports. On average, about 70 people die each year from the flu.
According to state public health officials: “The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include a sudden onset of fever, cough, headache or muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.”
In Greenville, the Shannon Forest Christian School did not open Friday, according to Fox Carolina. “The school hopes the additional time closed will allow for the dissipation of any remnants of the flu and allow students to rest without the fear of missing further school work,” the station reports.