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SD flu deaths make it deadliest winter in 8 years

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news Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- South Dakota Department of Health officials say 30 people in the state have died from the flu, making it the deadliest winter in eight years.

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Lon Kightlinger, the state epidemiologist, says the worst of the flu season is over but the virus is still circulating and people are still getting sick. Five people died from the flu last week.

The number of deaths is the highest since the 2004-05 season, when 42 South Dakotans died from the flu. All but two of the victims have been 75 or older.

Kightlinger tells the media there have been 821 confirmed flu cases this year. He says the total number could be 100 times greater because doctors are not required to report cases that don't result in death.

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