Elderly James Island woman dies of the flu

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- The coroner's office has confirmed a flu death in Charleston County and while this may be the first one they know about, there could me many more that are unreported.

According to Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten, a 73-year-old James Island woman passed away this weekend from Type-A Influenza.

Coroner Wooten said that natural deaths don't have to be reported to the coroner's office so while this is the first flu death in the county that they know of, there could be many more unreported deaths from local hospitals and nursing homes.

The flu season usually hits in January and February but deaths started accumulating as early as November.

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, 862 hospitalizations have been reported across the state since September 30, 2012 and 15 deaths. The majority of the deaths and hospitalizations were patients aged 65 or over.

Positive flu tests have been building in the Lowcountry as well. Charleston County reported 116 so far this flu season. Berkeley County reported 13 and Dorchester County reported 27. The report is for the week ending on December 29.

Typical symptoms of the flu include fever, runny nose, cough, congestion, body aches and the overall fatigued feelings.

You can prevent the spread of the virus by washing your hands, avoiding touching you face, staying away from sick people and not coming to work or school if you are sick.