The flu.  It's the gift that nobody wants.

There's a good chance you may know someone who has been sick recently and that's no coincidence.

State health officials say flu season in South Dakota is here with a vengeance.

According to KSFY, State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said over 200 cases have been confirmed in South Dakota, with six of those requiring hospitalization. So far, there have been no deaths related to the flu.

Clayton said while there has been an increase in cases in South Dakota, surrounding states, particularly Nebraska, are seeing a much greater spike.

KSFY reports that Influenza B is the predominant strain showing up in South Dakota so far. Clayton said this is unusual, as generally Influenza A peaks earlier than B.

Clayton said the best way to protect yourself is by getting a flu shot. He said for people who don’t like needles, a flu mist is available.

In 2018, there were 668 lab-confirmed cases of influenza in South Dakota and 43 flu-related deaths.

Stay healthy!

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