CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- State health officials reported South Carolina's first flu-related death of the season Tuesday morning.

"Sadly, an individual from the Upstate region has become our first lab-confirmed, influenza-associated death of the season," said Dr. Teresa Foo of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in a press release. "Unfortunately we see many deaths, hospitalizations and other serious complications of flu each year in South Carolina."

Officials did not release the identity of the person deceased from the flu-like complications or where in South Carolina the person was from.

Dr. Foo said young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease are at a higher risk for serious flu complications. But she also said in a press release that even healthy people can develop these serious flu complications.

"That is why it is so important for everyone six months and older to get the flu vaccine every year," Dr. Foo said in a press release. "It is the best way to prevent the flu."

South Carolina health officials said in addition to receiving an annual flu vaccination, it's important to follow these steps as extra preventative measures:

  • Try to and avoid close contact with people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw the used tissue in the trash after using it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

For more information on flu vaccines in South Carolina, you can visit the DHEC's page here.