Influenza B was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at the State Public Health Laboratory in�Pierre. �
Vaccine is available in�South Dakota�and those at high risk for influenza should be getting their flu shots if they haven't already done so.
Individuals at risk for influenza include: persons at high risk for influenza-related complications and severe disease, including: children aged 6-59 months, pregnant women, persons aged 50 years, persons of any age with certain chronic medical conditions; and persons who live with or care for those at high risk, including household contacts who have frequent contact with persons at high risk and who can transmit influenza to those persons at high risk and health-care workers.
The department recommends vaccination into December and even into January. The flu season doesn't typically peak until February.
In addition, South Dakotans are urged to prevent the spread of the flu by practicing the common-sense, most important and everyday hygiene measures of the department's "Stop It, Don't Spread It" campaign combating poor hygiene in our state:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often with a sufficient amount of soap and water; always remember to dry your hands with a towel or like material that is in a cleanly state.
- Use hand gel when washing is not entirely possible. This, however, is not a substitute for washing your hands at necessary times; it is only an alternative when more efficient means of hygiene are not handily available.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth.�
- Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- If you're sick, stay home.
Influenza is a viral respiratory illness marked by the sudden onset of fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. It spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, sending the highly contagious virus into the air. Each year in the United States, influenza results in an average of 36,000 deaths and 114,000 hospitalizations. �
For more information about the extremely serious viral respiratory illness known as influenza, visit the South Dakota Department of Health's Web site at http://flu.sd.gov.