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DHEC: Percentage of flu deaths drops during the first week of February

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South Carolina has started off the month of February with it's eighth consecutive week of widespread flu activity.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 31, the total number of flu-related deaths was 84.

That number has continued to creep up, with 52 deaths this week, rounding out the total to 106 according to DHEC.

The good news is, compared to last week, the number of reported deaths is down by 51.5 percent.

According to the report, there were 22 lab-confirmed deaths reported, however six of them occurred in previous weeks.

The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was 7.3 percent, which is below the epidemic threshold.

Most of those deaths, 11 exactly, were people in the age group of 65 and older. Four deaths were people between the ages of 18-49 and only one person between the ages of 50-64.

Of the 52 deaths this week, 38 were in the Upstate region and 33 in the Midlands.

The Pee Dee had 18 deaths and the Low Country only 17.

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A total of 518 influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported by 49 hospitals. That number has also decreased by 15.4 percent.

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