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Health Department Urges Vaccination As Flu Activity Increases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, December 13, 2017

CONTACT: Joshua Clayton (joshua.clayton@state.sd.us), (605) 773-3737

Health Department Urges Vaccination As Flu Activity Increases


PIERRE, S.D. – People should not delay getting a flu shot now that flu activity is increasing in South Dakota. So far this season, South Dakota has reported 146 laboratory-confirmed cases and 26 flu-related hospitalizations. The best way to prevent getting sick with influenza is to receive a dose of influenza vaccine.


“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. “It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for your body to build protection against the flu, so get vaccinated now to protect you and your loved ones.”


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 is a viral infection spread by respiratory droplets released when an infected person 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.


In addition to vaccination, to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand gel;
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and,
  • Stay home if you are sick.  


Learn more at http://flu.sd.gov    

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