South Dakota Reports First 2018-19 Flu Death

"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."

A person living in Pennington County, S.D., is South Dakota's first flu death of the 2018-19 flu season, the state's Department of Health reported Nov. 26. The agency's news release said the person was "in the the 60-69 age group" but gave no other information, saying "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."

He said flu activity in South Dakota is currently classified as sporadic. To date, the state has reported 35 lab-confirmed cases of flu and eight flu-related hospitalizations.

The release said an average of 33 South Dakotan deaths are reported annually to the Department of Health following influenza infections.

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