South Dakota Reports First Influenza Death Of The Season

South Dakota Department of Health reported the first influenza death of the season on Thursday.

South Dakota State Epidemiologist says that flu activity in communities across South Dakota is classified as local. In addition to the one death, the state has reported eighty-nine lab-confirmed cases of flu and four flu-related hospitalizations in the past week.

Each year, an average of thirty-nine South Dakotan deaths are reported to the Department of Health following influenza infections.

To protect against flu complications, annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. Groups like pregnant women, children younger than 5 years, people over 65 years, and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Healthcare workers and household contacts of high-risk populations, such as those with young infants, should also be vaccinated.

Influenza, much like COVID-19, is a viral infection spread by respiratory droplets released when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. Common signs and symptoms of the flu include fever of 100 degrees or greater, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, body or muscle aches, and runny or stuffy nose.