The South Dakota Department of Health has reported the first influenza death of the season. The person was elderly and from Pennington County. The individual had Influenza B and was hospitalized. Lon Kightlinger is the state epidemiologist and says we have an early flu season this year and it is very important to get vaccinated. Kightlinger adds that there are other things that can be done to stop the spread of the flu virus.
“Wash your hands, so that you’re not bringing the virus into your face and mouth and eyes. Stay home if you’re sick, use a Kleenex. I like to wash off those shopping carts when they give you the little wipey’s to do that, says Kightlinger. Anything that you can do to keep germs away from you."
Kightlinger says that this death is very unfortunate and is a reminder that flu can be a very serious illness and that you shouldn’t wait to get vaccinated. He says don’t wait for Christmas, do it now, do it before you go home tonight.