Influenza A confirmed in Vermillion

Influenza A confirmed in Vermillion The State Public Health Laboratory in Pierre confirmed Dec. 11 influenza A in a sample submitted by a Vermillion clinic. This was the fourth culture confirmed influenza A case in South Dakota for the 2000-2001 influenza season; the other three cases were children aged 6-18 years from Sioux Falls.

Although the influenza vaccine supply was delayed in the manufacturing process this year and only high risk patients were recommended for early vaccination, Vermillion doctors and clinics have vaccine available and residents who have not been vaccinated yet should call their medical provider to get vaccinated now.

"I often hear people say, 'I can ride it out if I get sick' but what they aren't considering is the influenza they could spread to others during the time they are contagious. If you plan on visiting the elderly, immune compromised, or hospital patients, you should consider getting vaccinated so you won't give them influenza, in addition to a holiday visit," said Dr. Sarah Patrick, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. "Last year, the influenza season started earlier and peaked during the holiday season. Some hospitals were filled to capacity and most instituted visitation policies to keep people with upper respiratory illnesses from visiting friends and family in the hospital."

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