PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Next week is being noted as National Influenza Vaccination Week and South Dakota’s State Epidemiologist says the week is a good reminder that flu shots are the best way to stay protected against influenza. Dr. Lon Kightlnger of the South Dakota Department of Health says so far this flu season; there have been 97 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu and 16 flu-related hospitalizations in the state. The actual number of cases is higher, since not every person who is sick seeks medical care. In the last flu season, 51.1 percent of South Dakotans over the age of six months were vaccinated against the flu, which is the highest rate in the nation. Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone, but some are at higher risk for complications-including pregnant women, people over 50 years and people with chronic medical conditions. The health department has free flu vaccine for kids from six months to 18 years. For more information about flu and how to prevent spreading it, visit http://flu.sd.gov.
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