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      DHEC: Dorchester Co. woman is SC's 1st flu death this season

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - State health officials say a Dorchester County woman is the first person in South Carolina to die from the flu this season.

      "Tragically,a woman from Dorchester County has become our first lab-confirmed,influenza-associated death of the season," said Linda Bell, M.D. and stateepidemiologist.

      The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Thursday that the woman was the first lab-confirmed, influenza-associated death of the season. No other details about her were given.

      DHEC says there were 46 flu-related deaths in South Carolina last flu season and 1,720 flu-associated hospitalizations.

      Bell says getting vaccinated is important for everyone six months and older and points out that it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to build up in someone's body in order to prevent the flu.

      Bell says flu activity typically peaks in February in South Carolina.

      State health leaders recommend avoiding people who are sick, staying home from work and errands if you are sick, washing your hands often and thoroughly, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

      "Othergood habits include getting plenty of exercise and sleep, managing your stress,drinking water and eating good food to help you stay healthy in the winter andall year," she said.

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      Online: www.scdhec.gov/flu

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