PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota has recorded its first flu death of the season.

The Department of Health reports that the victim was a Day County resident in his or her 70s. Further information about the patient is not being released.

But State Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton says the case is a reminder that influenza can be a very serious illness.

Clayton says flu activity in South Dakota has been increasing. As of Friday, the state had reported 301 lab-confirmed cases of flu and 46 flu-related hospitalizations.

Each year, an average of 33 flu-related deaths is reported to the department.

To protect against flu complications, annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.

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