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      DHEC: Flu cases showing up in SC

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- The flu has made its way into South Carolina, the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Monday.

      "Our agency's Bureau of Laboratories has confirmed five cases of flu in the Midlands area of the state," said Linda Bell, M.D. and state epidemiologist. "This confirmation reinforces the need for vaccination and the good sense steps to prevent the spread of the flu virus."

      DHEC has planned to focus its resources on providing flu shots for the uninsured, under-insured, and those who do not have access to the vaccine.

      "Vaccination remains the single best way to prevent the spread of flu," Dr. Bell said. "We recommend the flu vaccine for everyone six months of age or older. Flu season typically peaks in February in South Carolina. But you should get vaccinated as soon as possible to give your body time to strengthen its natural resistance to the virus before you are exposed. We strongly recommend flu vaccine for anyone who wants to reduce their risk from flu and its complications."To learn where and when influenza vaccine will be offered in your area, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/clinic-options.htm."You can help reduce the chance of spreading flu and other viruses by covering your cough with a tissue or your sleeve, washing your hands often and staying home if you get sick," Dr. Bell said. "Another good idea is to live healthy - eat properly and get plenty of exercise and rest."
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