SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A Minnehaha County resident is the first person of the 2023-24 influenza season to pass away, the South Dakota Department of Health reports. 

The resident was a male in the 80-89 age group and passed away in October, according to the SDDOH Influenza Dashboard. The dashboard also says Minnehaha County has three hospitalizations and 13 total cases of the flu so far. South Dakota as a whole has 32 confirmed cases.

“Influenza can be a very serious illness,” Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health said in a news release. “Taking preventative measures like regularly washing hands, covering your cough, and getting vaccinated against flu will protect you and your family.”

The Department of Health also encourages people to avoid close contact with others who are sick, avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth and stay home when sick to help prevent the spread of the flu. 

Yearly vaccinations are recommended to everyone over the age of six months to also stop the spread. People can find locations to receive their vaccine here