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Flu detected locally

PIERRE — Three influenza cases have been detected in South Dakota — including one in Davison County, where Mitchell is the county seat — and the South Dakota Department of Health is reminding residents that now is the time to be vaccinated.

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A case of influenza B was reported in a Minnehaha County resident in the 70-79 age group.

Influenza A was reported in a Davison County child younger than 10 and a Minnehaha County adult in the 30-39 age group. None was hospitalized.

“Yearly vaccination is the single best way to prevent influenza,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the department. “The vaccine is readily available and now is a good time to be vaccinated.”

Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone, but people older than 50 should be sure to receive the vaccination as they are one of the groups at highest risk for complications. Also at higher risk are pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions. Health-care workers and household contacts of high-risk populations, especially those with young infants in the household, should also be vaccinated.

As another high-risk group accounting for significant cases and hospitalizations each year, children help drive the spread of flu in the community. The department offers free flu vaccine for kids ages six months to 18 years. Contact a health care provider or a community health office for more information or to schedule an appointment.

In addition to vaccination, to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand gel;
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze;
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth; and,
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

Learn more about preventing the flu at

— Source: S.D. Department of Health