COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Health officials say the flu season has officially started in South Carolina.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday that three cases of the flu virus have already been found in the state.
Flu season typically peaks in February, and health officials hope this week's news spurs people to get a flu shot.
DHEC will distribute $25 flu shots this season, but the agency said next year it will focus on giving immunizations to people in remote areas or without insurance.
Health officials say while the flu shot is one of the best defenses against the virus, they also encourage washing hands often and covering mouths and noses during sneezes.