South Dakota reports first influenza case Jan. 6

South Dakota reports first influenza case Jan. 6 The Department of Health reported Jan. 6 South Dakota's first cases of influenza. This is the latest the virus has been detected in the state in the past decade.

The first detections were reported during week one (ending Jan. 4) in Rapid City. The two cases were detected using direct fluorescent antibody but final culture confirmation of influenza is pending at the State Public Health Laboratory in Pierre.

Influenza A was detected in a one-year old who presented with upper respiratory symptoms and symptoms of ear infection to an emergency room. Influenza B was detected in a 17-year-old seen by a pediatrician.

"Now that influenza has been found in South Dakota, individuals who have not been vaccinated can still consider getting the shot to protect themselves. There is still influenza vaccine available and it is certainly not

too late to be vaccinated," said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. "In addition to immunization, individuals should practice good hygiene to prevent spread of the virus. People

should cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash their hands frequently."

Influenza is an upper respiratory illness characterized by sudden onset of fever, cold symptoms, chills, headache and body aches.

Bronchitis and pneumonia are common complications. There are several antiviral drugs available on the market that can be used to treat influenza and can also be used preventively.

More information about influenza is available on the Department of Health Web site at

www.state.sd.us/doh/flu.

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