The SC Department of Health and Environmental control is reporting the first flu-associated death of this season. Dr. Linda Bell, interim state epidemiologist says the victim was a child from Barnwell. Bell says the latest statewide activity report indicates that influenza has quickly reached widespread levels in South Carolina. Dr Bell says you need about 2 weeks to build the best protection after receiving the flu vaccine. DHEC recommends the vaccine for everyone 6 months or older. Dr. Bell offers other flu prevention guidelines such as staying away from people who are sick, staying at home if you’re sick, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and use a tissue, and wash your hands thoroughly.