WINNSBORO — Flu season has arrived in Fairfield County and, according to DHEC, there have been four positive rapid flu tests in Fairfield County since Sept. 29.
During that timeframe there have been 1,147 positive rapid flu tests reported in South Carolina, with 39 people hospitalized and at least one fatality. Getting a flu shot is one important line of defense against the virus, as are habits like frequent hand washing, staying home from work if one has fever, and covering one’s cough or sneeze with a sleeve or tissue.
Flu shots are available at doctor’s offices, the local health department, and some drug stores or retail establishments with pharmacies.
To help prevent school children from becoming ill and missing school, Fairfield County School District is teaming up with S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to fight the flu. Starting the week of Dec. 2, seasonal flu vaccines will be offered to children in grades PK-12.
Here’s a look at the schedule:
8:30 a.m.-0:30 a.m.: FES
12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: GOA
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. KMES
12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. MLST
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. FMSMS
12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. GES
8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. FCHS
12:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. FMS
According to Rhonda Garris, FCSD Manager of School Health Services, most insurance company will pay for the cost of giving the vaccine. “If you do not have insurance or your insurance company does not pay, the vaccine will be no charge to you.”
Garris said the vaccine is not required for children to attend school, but is highly recommended. To get the vaccine, children must have a signed parental consent form. Both the nasal mist and shot vaccine will be available.
If you have additional questions about the flu or flu vaccine, call 1-800-27SHOTS (1-800-277-4687) or visit the CDC’s Seasonal Influenza website or Flu.gov.