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Pennington resident SD's first flu death of season

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota health officials have reported the state's first flu death of the season.

The Pennington County resident age 90-99 had influenza B and was hospitalized.

South Dakota year to date has reported 156 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu and 28 flu-related hospitalizations.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger says the death is a reminder that flu can be a very serious illness, particularly for elderly individuals. He says annual vaccination is the single best way to protect against the flu, and annual vaccination is recommended particularly for people over 50.

Also at higher risk are pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, health-care workers and household contacts of high risk populations. Children are another high risk group.