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South Dakota flu-related deaths hit new low this season

During the 2018/2019 flu season, 43 South Dakotans died, and hundreds were hospitalized but the South Dakota Department of Health reported only seven deaths and 189 people hospitalized for the 2019/2020 season. And 2020/2021 hit a new low, with only two deaths so far.
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:30 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - For almost a year, keeping COVID-19 at bay has been on so many minds and those mitigation efforts have played a role in reducing a common illness, the flu.

During the 2018/2019 flu season, 43 South Dakotans died, and hundreds were hospitalized but the South Dakota Department of Health reported only seven deaths and 189 people hospitalized for the 2019/2020 season. And 2020/2021 hit a new low, with only two deaths so far.

The CDC says the flu season runs from December to February, meaning the illness should take the back burner after this month. In South Dakota however, doctors have seen cases as late as April and May and suggest taking precautions if you haven’t already.

”This year, it’s hard to tell if somebody’s getting sick whether or not they’re getting the flu or their getting COVID or they’re just getting a common cold,” said Stephen Neabore, Monument Health physician. “So, any protection that you can get really against the flu, against COIVD, I think you should take, to lower your chances of getting sick and even dying from one of those illnesses.”

Neabore said many people have already been vaccinated but if they haven’t yet, they should discuss it with their physician first.

”The CDC is recommending to not have the COVID vaccine along with any other vaccine and that’s not really because of an interaction but that’s just because if you develop some kind of side effect or something like that, they want to know that it’s definitely because of the COVID vaccine as opposed to if you had a reaction to the flu vaccine,” said Neabore. “If you had both around the same time, it’s hard to know.”

The CDC recommends having two weeks before and after getting the COVID shot and another vaccine.

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