PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota has reported three flu deaths, the first deaths of the season. The South Dakota Department of Health says the deaths were reported in Deuel and Mellette counties, and those who died were all 50 years or older.

To protect patient confidentiality, additional information about the deceased is not being released.

Women who are pregnant, kids younger than 5-years old and those over 65 pose a higher risk in to get the flu

State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says the deaths are a reminder that influenza “can be a very serious illness,” and that it's not too late to get vaccinated for flu this season.

Flu activity is classified as widespread across South Dakota. So far, the state has reported 1,555 lab-confirmed cases of flu and 59 flu-related hospitalizations.

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