HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WSAV) — Seven people across South Carolina have now died due to the flu — one of those deaths is in the Lowcountry.
Hilton Head Hospital tells News 3 someone there passed away after contracting the virus.
So far this year, 74 patients have checked themselves into Hilton Head Hospital with the flu. That’s more than double the number at the same time last year at the medical facility.
Doctors say they are seeing more and more serious symptoms than usual.
The flu vaccine this year is only 40% effective at preventing the virus.
This year’s strain is Influenza A, which is more resistant to the vaccine.
That has made many hesitant to even get the shot this year.
“It does reduce the severity of the illness. It can help reduce the number of days people can miss from work or school,” said Dr. Rafael Sanchez-Yriarte. “For anyone who has medical conditions it still helps them get a milder form of the disease. So we still recommend getting the vaccine.”
Hilton Head Hospital has not restricted children from their Emergency room, but the hospital is recommending that anyone under 12 not visit.
Doctors say kids are more likely to get the flu and potentially pass it on to other patients, not just their families.