Influenza-related deaths increase to 23 in South Dakota

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The number of influenza-related deaths in South Dakota has increased to 23 during the current season.

State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger tells KELO-TV ( ) that three deaths occurred last week. More than 400 people have been hospitalized because of the virus throughout the season.

Even though doctors in the state have diagnosed fewer people with the virus in the last couple of weeks, state health officials report South Dakota's flu activity level continues to be "widespread," the highest level of flu activity.

Widespread activity indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state.

Common signs of the flu virus include abrupt onset of fever, muscle aches, sore throat and cough.


Information from: KELO-TV,

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