Crunching the numbers: How does this flu season stack up?


The 2017-2018 flu season has been getting a lot of attention for how widespread it is.

However, in South Carolina it's far from the deadliest in recent years.

According to the last report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), 84 people have died across the state this season, 11 of those deaths happened in the Pee Dee.

During the 2014-2015 flu season, 156 people died from the flu virus in South Carolina. Last year, the number of reported deaths was 94.

"We are seeing a big increase in the number of [flu] cases here at Conway, but we have had bad seasons in the past as well," Dr. Paul Richardson, with Conway Medical Center, said.

Richardson said CMC has not had a flu-related death so far this year.

As for the number of positive tests in South Carolina, last year had the most on record with more than 90,000.

However, a DHEC spokesman told ABC15 that testing technology has gotten better recently, which could account for the high number.

Nearly 60,000 tests have come back positive so far this season, meaning we could be on the way to setting a new record.

"We may not be seeing our peak here locally," Richardson said. "I'm just not completely convinced of that. Like I've said, here we've seen a good number... just in the last month our numbers continue to rise of positive tests."

DHEC data reports that no children in South Carolina have died because of the flu as of Friday afternoon.

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