The flu season is under way across the country, and local health officials report continued increases in numbers of influenza cases across South Dakota.

Information released from the State Department of Health shows that seasonal influenza activity remains at a widespread level.

In the past week, the state has seen a doubling in the number of flu-associated hospitalizations and a quadrupling of the number of flu-related deaths.

With a large portion of the flu season still ahead, local public health officials are urging people to practice good respiratory hygiene and get their flu shots.

Dr. Jennifer Tinguely, Chief Medical Officer for Falls Community Health and the City of Sioux Falls Health Department, tells us,

Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu. Even though this year’s flu vaccine may not be as effective because of mutations in some flu viruses, I cannot emphasize enough that it’s still very important to get vaccinated.

Vaccine is available at Falls Community Health. To schedule an appointment for a flu shot, please call 367-8793. Additional information about the flu can be found online.