Flu season is here and in many places, it's already bad.
More than 100 people have been hospitalized in Minnesota because of the flu. Today, South Dakota health officials issued their own warnings.
Increasing numbers of cases of influenza have been reported West River. Even if you don't live West River, doctors say it's even more important to get the vaccination now.
Many of us have been traveling this holiday season and have come into contact with more people than usual.
Dr. Mark List at Falls Community Health says there have been a few confirmed cases of the flu so far in the clinic. He expects that number to rise quickly.
"Now that we know it's here in Sioux Falls,we actually aren't testing so maybe the numbers are actually artificially low compared to the actual number of people who have influenza," said Dr. List.
The body aches, the chills and the coughing -- all symptoms of the flu.
Dr. List is seeing more and more patients coming to him with all of those symptoms.
"In the last two weeks down here at Falls, we've seen at least five or six people who have influenza-like illnesses who are probably positive for it. The flu shot is the number one way to prevent getting the flu bug this year," said Dr. List.
It takes around ten days for the flu vaccination to take effect -- so you'll want to be just as diligent washing your hands and covering your mouth when coughing.
"I think the big thing to remember is that if you have signs and symptoms of influenza, so any rapid onset of high fever coughs things like that, that we really need those folks to practice good respiratory hygiene," said Sandy Frentz, Public Health Manager at Sioux Falls Health Department.
The moral of the story is it's not too late to get a flu shot.
"It is here. It's around. Stay safe, go to your doctor, go to the pharmacy, get your flu shots," said Dr. List.
Just last week, there was one influenza related death in South Dakota and two so far in our state this season.
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