South Dakota flu deaths on the rise

Photo courtesy MGN

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - The number of South Dakotans with the flu continues to rise.

In the week ending on Jan. 25, more than 1,200 new cases of influenza was confirmed by the South Dakota Department of Health. This now brings the total of influenza cases (both influenza A and influenza B) to 4,395.

In addition to the rise of new cases, there have also been two influenza-associated deaths in the week ending on Jan. 25. There are now six deaths reported so far from the flu since October of 2019.

Flu activity has been high not only for South Dakota, but for the rest of the United States as well. The CDC estimates that there have been at least 19 million flu illnesses and 10,000 influenza-associated deaths nationwide .

Compared to recent flu seasons, rates among children and young adults are higher than normal. Nationally, 64 of the influenza-associated deaths were children.

Experts say that vaccination is always the best way to prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications.