SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 74 people have been hospitalized and three have died due to this season’s influenza strains in South Dakota.
According to the South Dakota Department of Health, the Type B (unspecified) strain has impacted South Dakota the most with 1,254 confirmed cases. The second most common being Type A (unspecified) with 703 confirmed cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks the flu across the nation. As of January 11, 2020, the flu is widespread throughout the United States with the exceptions of Oregon and Hawaii.
On average, one out of every five patients seen for the flu is diagnosed with it, according to Dr. Jennifer McKay. Children and the elderly are more susceptible to all strains of influenza.
Even if you’re not under the age of four or over 65, you can still contract the flu. McKay is a hospitalist at Avera Health. She says it’s never too late to get your flu shot.
“We in the upper Midwest tend to tough things out. That’s a very common thing for the hearty people that we are in South Dakota. So, if you are someone who has some of these chronic conditions, cancers, immune diseases like M.S. Chronic diseases of the lung like emphysema or asthma, please don’t wait it out. It’s never a bad idea to reach out to your physician your nurse practitioner to see if you need to be seen. But don’t try to be too brave,” McKay said.
Molly Satter is the Sioux Falls School District Health Services Coordinator. She says to keep a look out for other illnesses, as well.
“Influenza, cold viruses, RSV can all present a little bit similar. There are some differences. Influenza you can typically see a higher fever, those body aches things like that. Any questions that you have, always see your provider and they can further assess,” Satter said.
The Sioux Falls School District posted some reminders for parents to keep in mind during the flu season on social media.
For more information on this year’s flu, click here.