So far there have been 469 influenza cases and nine reported deaths in South Dakota this flu season. That number is up significantly from this time last year. Health officials say anyone older than six months of age who has not been vaccinated against the flu should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Many experts say by getting a flu shot you will protect yourself and help prevent the spread of the flu. Many experts also say that a flu shot is the most effective protection against the flu. Influenza viruses are always changing, so getting a flu shot every year is recommended. It takes up to 2 weeks for protection to develop after the shot. Protection lasts about a year.
Health officials say this is the worst nationwide flu outbreak in four years. 47 States are now reporting the illness and several have declared health emergencies. With that in mind many people who have never gotten a flu shot before are getting one this year. There is some good news. The CDC says the number of states hit hard has dropped from 29 to 24. Even with that good news health officials still want you to get a flu shot.
Anyone can get influenza, but the most at-risk to get it are children. For most people, symptoms last only a few days. They include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose. If you think you might have the flu you should contact your doctor so that hopefully you can cut down the severity of the flu and how long it will last.
Health experts say all people 6 months of age and older should get flu vaccine. They also say vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza and their close contacts. Those people include healthcare personnel and close contacts of children younger than 6 months. Health experts say adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after getting sick. That means that you can give someone the flu before you know you're sick as well as while you are sick.
To help cut down your risk of spreading germs or picking them up: cover your mouth and nose with you cough or sneeze, cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away, clean your hands often, wash your hands with soap and warm water, wash for 15 to 20 seconds which is about the same time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice, when you can't wash your hands use alcohol-based wipes or hand gel, remind your children to practice healthy habits too especially at school or daycare. Also health officials say parents may want to send a water bottle with their child to school or daycare to avoid using public drinking fountains.
For more information about the flu or where you can be vaccinated, contact Ask-A-Nurse (1-800-658-3535), My Sanford Nurse (333-4444), or your health care provider.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:29 PM EST2013-12-07 04:29:51 GMT
With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures. KSFY's Tess HedrickMore >>
With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures. KSFY's Tess Hedrick took rode along with a Sioux Falls Police Officer Friday evening.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:19 PM EST2013-12-07 04:19:35 GMT
HURON, S.D. (AP) - Governor Dennis Daugaard has announced the formation of a task force to find a balance between modern agricultural practices and wildlife-oriented land conservation. Daugaard madeMore >>
He's concerned about the declining pheasant population and its statewide impact.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:08 PM EST2013-12-07 04:08:17 GMT
The Sioux Falls Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing person that is memory impaired. The missing person is Leroy Harold ‘Bud' Anderson. He is a white male, 75More >>
The missing person is Leroy Harold ‘Bud' Anderson. He is a white male, 75 years old, 5' 10" tall 180 pounds, white hair, balding on top.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:00 PM EST2013-12-07 04:00:52 GMT
LUCAN, Minn. (AP) - The names of the two children killed in a farmhouse fire in southwestern Minnesota this week have been released. The family identifies the victims as 7-year-old Hazel and 4-year-oldMore >>
The two were unaccounted for after the fire Wednesday. One of the children's bodies was found Wednesday, the other a day later.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 7:27 PM EST2013-12-07 00:27:18 GMT
Every year the streets of downtown Dell Rapids fill up to welcome the holidays with open arms. But the recent blast of arctic air has forced organizers of Christmas at the Dells to make some changes. "IMore >>
Cold weather cancels outdoor portion of Christmas at the Dells annual holiday event.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:47 PM EST2013-12-06 23:47:21 GMT
WCCO -- A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were unaccounted for after a fire started in their home Wednesday. The bodies of those children were found WednesdayMore >>
A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were lost in a devastating house fire Wednesday. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:10 PM EST2013-12-06 23:10:35 GMT
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday. After passing the petition certification process, the issue is now known as InitiatedMore >>
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday.More >>