South Dakota's 3 largest health systems to require flu shots for employees
South Dakota's three largest health systems are jointly announcing they will require annual influenza vaccinations for all employees, health care providers and volunteers this flu season.
Last year in South Dakota, 37 people died from influenza, which is the highest number of influenza-related deaths since 2004, according to a news release from Avera Health. Neonates, the elderly, immunocompromised and chronically ill patients are at particularly high risk of serious outcomes if they are infected with influenza.
This year, the organizations made the decision in order to maximize patient safety and protect employees against influenza.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease spread by droplets from coughing, sneezing or talking or by way of contact with droplets on surfaces. It should not be confused with gastrointestinal viruses which cause vomiting or diarrhea.
Many health systems across the country are also implementing mandatory influenza vaccinations this year.
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