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Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Health officials say the flu is widespread in 47 states including South Carolina.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says at least 22 people have died from influenza in South Carolina since the fall.

The virus has also affected many businesses here in town, Chrysostom Family Dentistry in West Columbia has been hit hard with the flu this season.

"We employ 25 people and slightly less than half of them have missed days because of the flu," said Dr. Deno Chrysostom.

The receptionists spent much of Friday afternoon rescheduling patients and trying to get back to their normal schedules.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control stresses that getting vaccinated is still the best defense against the currently circulating strains.

"The activity is definitely widespread in South Carolina, the flu is everywhere," said Jim Beasley with the DHEC. "The vaccine is not going to prevent the flu 100 percent of the time. What is it going to do is help prevent serious illness or death."

According to the CDC, 35 percent of the US population is on track to be vaccinated.

If you would like a list of the places you can get vaccinated, go to the Flu Vaccine Finder site.

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