South Dakota records first flu-related seasonal death

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota recorded its first flu-related death of the season.

The state health ministry said on Monday that the deceased was a Pennington County resident of the 60 to 69 age group. To protect the confidentiality of the patient, no other information has been disclosed.

According to Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist, this death reminds that the flu "can be a very serious illness". Clayton says that it's not too late to get vaccinated against the flu.

Clayton says that influenza activity in South Dakota is currently classified as sporadic. So far, the state has reported 35 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and eight influenza-related hospitalizations.

Each year, an average of 33 deaths in South Dakota are reported to the Ministry of Health as a result of influenza infections. An annual flu shot is recommended for all people 6 months of age and older.

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