A child who has died in the Midlands from complications associated with the flu is the first pediatric fatality reported to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control this flu season.
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Health information privacy laws shield hospitals and agencies from revealing patients' county of residence and age.
"We extend our condolences to this family and all families in South Carolina who have suffered a loss during this flu season," said Lillian Peake, DHEC director of public health.
DHEC released its most recent data update on flu activity on Feb. 7 for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3, which shows a total of 518 hospitalizations reported by 49 hospitals and 22 deaths, though six of those deaths occurred in a previous week but were not reported until last week.
Compared to the previous week, hospitalizations decreased by 94, or (15.4 percent), and deaths decreased by 17, or 51.5 percent.
In the current season as of the most recent data from DHEC, which does not include the pediatric death, 2,894 people have been hospitalized and 106 have died from the flu.
A total of 18,726 cases were reported to DHEC Jan. 28-Feb. 3. Every county has now seen at least one case. That total marks a 7.4 decrease from the previous week, or 1,504 less cases.
Sumter County, which DHEC considers as part of the Pee Dee region on the border with the Midlands, has now reported 374 cases of the flu.
The majority of the deaths across the state have been in those aged 65 or older.
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