Sioux Falls-area 4th grader dies from flu complications

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A fourth-grade student in the Sioux Falls area has died from complications related to the flu.

Rylon Anderson died Sunday after he was admitted to the hospital on Friday, said West Central School District Superintendent Brad Berens. Rylon had Influenza A and is the first known child in the state to die from the flu this season.

Prior to Rylon's death, South Dakota had reported seven other flu-related deaths this season. The health department's summary from Feb. 8 says all of those deaths were people age 50 and older.

It was not immediately known if Rylon had been vaccinated.

Berens told the Argus Leader that the school district's crisis response team members, additional grief counselors and support staff will be on hand Tuesday to help students and staff cope with the loss.

Berens said he and his employees spend hours helping students learn life lessons, but when a student dies, “this is just one of those times when you find yourself at a loss.”

South Dakota has had more than 7,500 lab confirmed cases of the so far, with more than 260 people hospitalized, the latest data states. Flu activity is considered high and widespread.

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