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South Dakota seeing low flu numbers this season

(WCAX)
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:09 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A side benefit of COVID-19 precautions appears to be very low flu numbers this winter.

South Dakota State Epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton says this is normally the peak time for flu. But so far this year, the state has confirmed just 45 cases, seven hospitalizations and two flu-related deaths.

“This same time last year, we had already seen around 7,600 cases, 270 hospitalizations, and 12 deaths from influenza,” Clayton said.

Clayton says this is a very unusual season, and that it appears measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus are also inhibiting the spread of influenza. However, he said the flu season is not over, adding that a flu shot can still provide protection.

Most people can have a flu shot in tandem with a COVID-19 vaccination, Clayton said.

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