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First Flu-Related Death in South Dakota Reported


State health officials are reporting that an elderly person from Minnehaha County has died as a result of the flu. Officials say three cases of the flu have been reported in South Dakota so far this season.

State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says the flu season typically starts October 1st , peaks in early March, and wraps up in May. He says it’s important for people to protect themselves against the virus.

“Everybody is at risk and everybody older than six months of age can get the flu vaccination unless you’re allergic to the vaccine or something. Nobody is safe from it. This is a virus that chooses it’s victims at random and very carefully across the population,” says Kightlinger.

Kightlinger says at this time last year there were eighteen reported cases of the flu in South Dakota - but no deaths. He says neighboring states are also beginning to report cases of the flu. Kightlinger says in addition to getting the flu vaccine people should wash their hands often and avoid other sick people to help keep the flu bug away.