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South Dakota has only had 45 people diagnosed with influenza this season

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Flu Season, MGN Graphic

PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) - South Dakota health officials say they are seeing a pretty atypical flu season. So far, only 45 people in the state have been diagnosed with influenza.

According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton, at this time last year, there were 7,600 cases of influenza in the state. Last year's flu season saw 270 hospitalizations and 12 deaths by this time period.

But so far this season there have been 7 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths.

Clayton says even though the season is mild, its important to be vaccinated.

"It does take about two weeks to produce antibodies, but that does mean when you hit that two week mark, that you are protected against the circulating strains. Even though we are seeing limited numbers right now, that doesn't mean we might not see some additional influenza," said Dr. Clayton.

The doctor says typically the flu peak is in February, but it can peak later. He said the flu season typically runs through April

Blake Branch

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