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Sanford Not Impacted By CDC Not Tracking Flu



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We are on the cusp of the flu season and as people begin to get flu shots, federal experts who usually monitor the severity and scope of influenza have been furloughed by the government shutdown.

Although the Centers for Disease Control is still collecting national flu data, the information won't be analyzed or reported until the shutdown ends. Their website hasn't been updated since the shutdown began on Tuesday. However, a local hospital says it really doesn't impact them. Sanford Health in Sioux Falls says they monitor the flu virus internally and through the state department of health.

Sanford's Chief Quality Officer for the Sioux Falls Region Dr. Tom Braithwaite said, "It doesn't really impact our work here because what we really focus on is prevention as much as possible. We do believe this is a disease that to a significant extent can be prevented."

Braithwaite says he hasn't seen any reports of influenza yet. Braithwaite says the flu season can start as early as October but usually peaks around February or March. He says now is the time to start getting flu shots.
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