The first lab-confirmed case of influenza in the 2010-11 season in South Carolina was announced Thursday.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said the case involved a child in Richland County who has the A H3 strain of the virus. Previously, dozens of people, mostly in coastal areas, had shown signs of the flu or tested positive for a flu virus on nose swabs. But the Richland County case is the first to be confirmed by the state lab.
No other details of the individual case will be released.
DHEC officials hope the relatively early arrival of the first positive test will prompt more people to get flu shots.
"Flu season typically peaks in February in South Carolina," said Jerry Gibson, state epidemiologist. "But you should get vaccinated as soon as possible to give your body time to strengthen its natural resistance to the virus before youre exposed."