Looks like we can thank COVID-19 for one thing, and that's dropping the overall flu numbers in the state this winter.

The decrease here in South Dakota so far this winter has been dramatic over the previous year.

Dakota News Now is reporting that South Dakota has only 45 confirmed cases of the flu, seven hospitalizations, and two flu-related deaths to date this winter. That's according to South Dakota State Epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton.

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As Clayton said, the flu should be peaking right about now in the state.

So why the marked drop-off? Is it because of all the increased safety measures most people are following now to help fend off the threat of COVID? Is it because most everyone who has got sick these past few months seems like they've been given a COVID diagnosis? There are multiple schools of thought percolating at the moment throughout society. You be the judge.

Regardless, there is no denying the significant drop-off in flu numbers from this same time last year. The numbers are eye-opening, to say the least.

As Dakota News Now reports, this same time last year, South Dakota had already experienced 7,600 cases, 270 hospitalizations, and 12 deaths that were tied directly to influenza.

The flu season is still far from over, and Dr. Clayton wants to remind people that getting a flu shot is an excellent measure in providing protection against the flu bug.

Clayton told Dakota News Now, most people are able to get their flu shot in tandem with a COVID-19 vaccination.

Just something to keep in mind as you continue to do your best to stay healthy this season.

Source: Dakota News Now

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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