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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, November 26, 2018

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

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


PIERRE, S.D. – A Pennington County resident in the 60-69 age group is South Dakota’s first influenza death of the 2018–2019 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. “It is not too late to get vaccinated for this flu season, and if you haven’t yet received your annual flu vaccination, the time to do so is now.”


Clayton noted that flu activity in South Dakota is currently classified as sporadic. To date, the state has reported 35 lab-confirmed cases of flu and 8 flu-related hospitalizations.


Each year, an average of 33 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 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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