Influenza season: Statistics and prevention

Landon DeBoer

More stories from Landon DeBoer


Riley Rasmussen

Washing hands is an important way to prevent the spread of influenza.

As mid-February begins, the U.S. influenza season is in full swing, with over 2,500 confirmed cases of the two strains in South Dakota alone.

With skyrocketing rates of the virus in South Dakota, as well as around the country, it is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu. To put the “skyrocketing rates” into perspective, here are a couple of facts from the South Dakota Department of Health and their  week five report on the virus:

  • Minnehaha County has had 808 reported cases of the flu virus, with 39 hospitalizations and zero deaths.
  • 24 percent of the confirmed cases in South Dakota were among ages 0-4, 38 percent are between ages 5-18 and 22 percent of the confirmed cases are ages 19-49.
  • Season to date cases has recorded 2603 cases of influenza A, while there is only 17 season to date cases of influenza B.

With these facts in mind, make sure to take extra measures to keep oneself and others healthy this flu season. Always make sure to wash one’s hands with soap and water frequently after eating or using the bathroom, try to keep one’s space as clean as possible and try to eat healthily. Along with eating healthy, it is important to drink plenty of water each day and get lots of rest. Try to bring a personal water bottle to fill up instead of drinking straight from the fountain to help prevent the spread of germs.

Following simple rules like these can help stop the spread of the flu virus throughout LHS and can help the student body remain healthy in a time when it is difficult to do so. Try to make LHS a healthier place not only for oneself but for all.