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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – Health officials in South Carolina have announced their first flu-related death of the season.S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) made the announcement on Thursday, Nov. 8.No additional details about the specific location or identity of the deceased were made immediately available.”This is our first lab-confirmed, influenza-associated death of the season,” said Dr. Lilian Peake, DHEC director of public health. “Unfortunately, we see many deaths, hospitalizations and other serious complications of flu each year in South Carolina.”Peake said those at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older and those with chronic health conditions — like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease.But even healthy people can have serious complications from the flu, she said. Health officials suggest everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccines are typically available at doctors’ offices, clinic, pharmacies and health departments.In addition, DHEC encourages taking the following measures to prevent the flu and ensure the safety of others:-While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a tissue is not available, use the crook of your elbow.
-Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.Flu vaccines offered at DHEC Health Department clinics are available by appointment. Call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment or go to www.scdhec.gov/flu/fluclinics to find the location closest to you.

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