South Carolina health officials say 15 people have died of the flu so far this season, more than double the number of deaths at this time last year.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Friday the 15 deaths occurred through Jan. 6. That's compared to seven deaths through the same period in 2017 and six deaths through the same period in 2016.
Health officials told The State newspaper in Columbia that the first week of January also marked the fourth week in a row that widespread flu activity has been reported. And it's spreading fast.
DHEC's latest week-to-week report states that the number of cases went up by 1,395, or 40.6 percent, when compared to the previous week. There have been 17,004 cases statewide since the season started.