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Day County Resident South Dakota’s First Flu Death Of Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, December 22, 2017

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

Day County Resident South Dakota’s First Flu Death Of Season

PIERRE, S.D. – A Day County resident in the 70–79 age group is South Dakota’s first influenza death of the 2017–2018 season, the Department of Health reported today. To protect patient confidentiality, additional information about the deceased is not being released.


“Our sympathy is with the family. Their loss serves as a reminder to us all that influenza can be a very serious illness,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist for the department.

Clayton noted that flu activity in South Dakota increased to regional in the last week. To date, the state has reported 301 lab-confirmed cases of flu and 46 flu-related hospitalizations.


Each year, an average of 33 South Dakotan deaths is 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 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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