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January 07, 2013 09:45 AM

Flu Season Ramping Up Fast In South Dakota

pierre, sd

Flu cases are on the rise in South Dakota and could surpass last year's total of 505.

The most recent data available show 409 confirmed cases, compared with just five at the same time last year. There also have been three flu-related deaths in the state.

State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says the flu season in South Dakota typically peaks in February, but it's happening earlier this year. There's no clear explanation. Kightlinger says officials know the flu will hit, but "we don't know exactly what month, how severe, what virus or how it's going to circulate."

Flu cases are being reported across the country. Health officials advise people who haven't gotten a flu shot to get one.

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