Flu hospitalizations on the rise at Monument Health

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 10:52 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - With flu season upon us Monument Health reports a 54% increase in flu-related hospitalizations so far. With regard to the number of statewide flu cases continuing to outpace previous years.

For comparison, this year, Monument has seen 37 flu patients whereas this period of the 2019-2020 year, the hospital had 17 influenza patients. Last season’s flu went was one of the worst that South Dakota had seen in recent history, with the South Dakota Department of Health reporting 24,776 confirmed cases, 547 hospitalizations, and 33 deaths.

“It could be that the flu season is peaking early this year, but there’s a strong chance we’re seeing the start of a big increase in cases,” said Ty White, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Monument Health. Historically, South Dakota’s peak influenza month is February.

As of Dec. 25, the state Department of Health is reporting 1,931 confirmed cases and 2 deaths.

You can still get your flu shot which will offer protection against four of the influenza viruses expected to be in circulation this flu season.

“Getting an influenza vaccine — though not 100% effective — is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu and its complications,” the Mayo Clinic article noted.

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