Seven confirmed cases of the flu in South Dakota so far this season

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Flu seasons can be unpredictable from year to year, therefore, the severity and peak of this season is still uncertain.

Hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent spread of the flu

According to the South Dakota State Department of Health, the flu has not yet impacted Rapid City, and only one case in the state has lead to hospitalization.

The director of infection, prevention, and control at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital said the flu vaccine must be in your system for about two weeks to provide protection.

"At this point in the season it's really typical to just see these few cases, we'll usually start seeing it ramping up, a normal season in December, we'll start seeing it ramp up, and really peak in February, sometimes as early as January starting to see that peak depending on the year, but it's kind of unpredictable but as far as right now, this is typically what we see at this time of year, we see sporadic cases within the state," said Ty White, director of infection, prevention, and control at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital.

White said he often sees spikes in flu cases during the holidays when people come together, allowing the virus to more easily spread.

Regional Health Rapid City Hospital is still awaiting another shipment of the high-dose flu vaccine recommended for senior citizens, which has been impacted by the nationwide shortage.