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Flu Season Outlook

September 26, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Flu Season Outlook
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The flu virus is deadly every year. But the seriousness of the flu season changes from year to year.

Ryan Ostgaard and Nathan Heinert are enjoying the nice fall weather, but they know not everything that comes with this time of year is so nice.

"I've had the flu before. I never want it again," Ostgaard said.

That's why both Ostgaard and Heinert plan to get a flu shot, even though the last couple of flu seasons have been fairly mild.

"It has its peaks every four years or so," Sanford Dr. Jorge Patino said.

Patino says just like the weather, flu seasons are also difficult to predict.  But every year the virus is deadly, including last year.

"Even though it was mild, I did get a chance to see very sick people in hospitals with flu complications.  And that's what we're trying to prevent, the flu complications," Patino said.

Those most at risk include children younger than five, adults older than 64, and people with chronic medical conditions.

"Anyone is susceptible to the flu. There are so many strains from the flu virus," Patino said.

That's why Ostgaard and Heinert are going to take what steps they can to stay healthy this flu season.

"I think a lot of it has to do with how careful people are being with what they're doing and making sure they're staying on top of their hygiene," Heinert said.

The South Dakota Health Department says the best way to protect yourself from the flu virus is to get the flu shot.

You can get your shot Thursday during KELO TV and Lewis Drug's annual flu shot clinic. Just stop by any Sioux Falls Lewis Drug location between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.  The cost is 28 dollars; it's free with a Medicare card.

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