- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S..D. (AP) - South Dakota has reported its first flu death of the season, saying the person was in their 80s and lived in Potter County.

Additional information about the individual was not released in order to protect patient confidentiality, the South Dakota Department of Health said Friday.

“Our sympathy is with the family. Their loss serves as a reminder to us all that influenza can be a very serious illness,” said state epidemiologist Josh Clayton. “It is not too late to get vaccinated for this flu season, and if you haven’t yet received your annual flu vaccination, the time to do so is now.”

Clayton said flu activity statewide is classified as sporadic. In addition to one death, the state is reporting four lab-confirmed cases of the flu and two flu-related hospitalizations.

Every year, an average of 48 flu-related deaths are reported in South Dakota.

Groups like pregnant women, children younger than 5, people over 65 and those with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for flu-related complications such as pneumonia, hospitalization and death.

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