COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State health officials say nine people have died from the flu in South Carolina in the past week.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said the deaths during the second of January mean that two dozen people have died from influenza this season, which started in October.

DHEC said most of the victims were at least 65 years old. No children have died from the flue this season.

State officials say nearly 500 people were hospitalized in South Carolina between Jan. 7 and Jan. 13. Nearly 1,300 people have been hospitalized with flu since October.

Many hospitals have restricted visitors because of the flu.