Fighting flu season with free flu vaccines

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Hundreds of people are diagnosed with the flu every year in the state, and the South Dakota Department of Health wants to tackle the issue with a flu clinic.

More than 80 volunteers gave flu vaccines for free on Saturday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

So far this flu season, there are 355 confirmed cases of influenza in South Dakota and one death from the illness.

Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that appears in the winter and early spring.

The state's department of health was prepared to give 900 doses of the flu vaccine.

Cherie Koch, regional manager, South Dakota Department of Health, says, "It (the flu) is very contagious and it makes people very ill when they are infected with that virus, but death is the ultimate that can happen from flu."

Doctors say be sure to wash your hands to prevent spreading the flu and it's not too late to get vaccinated.