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Flu season in full swing, 68 patients tested positive in the Lowcountry over the weekend

Flu shot (WCIV).JPG

After a cold wintry break in the Lowcountry, doctors are reporting a spike in flu cases coming in to the emergency room. And it doesn't look like its letting up anytime soon.

The flu season is in full swing in South Carolina, and over the weekend emergency rooms at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital were very busy.

“I would say based on the numbers we’ve seen, we are in the peak time,” Dr. Chris Moe, ER physician at Roper St. Francis said.

Doctors at Roper St. Francis reported 68 patients tested positive for the flu this past weekend, but they expect there are many more cases out there.

The good news is that most of the cases this past weekend were moderate and preventable with the flu shot, Dr. Moe said.

“This year it’s offering a 60 percent protection rate against the current strain and even if you do get the flue and you have had the shot – your body tends to fight the flu a little more effectively. And the symptoms are not as severe,” Dr. Moe said.

If this year’s flu shot is at a 60 percent protection rate, why don’t more people get the flu shot?

Dr. Moe believes it’s an urban legend of someone saying they got the flu shot and then got sick.

Tamiflu generally works best if begun within two days of symptoms said Dr. Sara Utley, infectious diseases pharmacist.

The big takeaway here is that the best way to fight the flu is with the flu shot.

Other things to be cautious of are keeping your hands washed and avoiding open spaces where others may be infected.

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