South Dakota records 1st flu death of season

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota has recorded its first flu death of the season.

The state Department of Health said Monday the person who died was a Pennington County resident in the 60-to-69 age group. To protect patient confidentiality, no other information was released.

State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says the death is a reminder that influenza "can be a very serious illness." Clayton says it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Clayton says flu activity in South Dakota is currently classified as sporadic. So far, the state has reported 35 lab-confirmed cases of flu and eight flu-related hospitalizations.

Each year, an average of 33 South Dakotan deaths are reported to the Health Department following influenza infections. An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.

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