State health officials announced Thursday a child has been confirmed to have the first case of flu this season in Maryland—about two weeks earlier than the first case reported last year.
The child, who was not identified but is from the National Capital Region, was reported to have been briefly hospitalized, and is now recovering.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) said the flu strain detected was type A (H1N1) influenza. The first case was detected about two weeks earlier than last year, when the first case was reported on Oct. 19, 2012.
“Maryland’s first confirmed seasonal flu case reminds us of the importance of getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and those around us,” said Joshua Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary, in a prepared statement. “Influenza infection can be serious, but it can also be prevented.”
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone older than 6 months and is widely available through health care providers, local health departments or neighborhood pharmacies—and is even offered for free at some county health centers.