First flu-related pediatric death of the season reported in Maryland

Biologist Rebecca Gillespie holds a vial of flu-fighting antibodies at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in Bethesda, Md. Despite 100 years of science, the flu virus too often beats our best defenses because it constantly mutates. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The flu has killed a child in Maryland for the first time this season.

Department of Health officials said they couldn't give specific details about the case, but announced Tuesday in a release that one child has died.

Click here for information from the CDC on the flu.

"Maryland public health officials have detected a marked increase in influenza activity since mid to late December and are warning the public to take measures to prevent influenza, especially by getting the influenza vaccine," Officials wrote in the release. "The Department detected its first laboratory-confirmed cases of seasonal influenza in November 2017. Currently, flu activity is categorized as high and widespread with the majority of this increased activity due to influenza type A (H3N2), although type A H1N1 and B strains are also circulating in Maryland. As is the case every season, this year's influenza vaccine formulation has coverage of strains of both type A and B influenza."

RELATED: University of Maryland study: Simply breathing can spread flu virus

The news comes as millions nationwide battle symptoms during a brutal flu season.

Less than a week ago, a school in Fredericksburg, Virginia, closed for the day because of the number of staffers, students and substitute teachers who were out sick.

CDC officials are urging people to wash their hands, get plenty of sleep and try to keep surfaces clean to avoid getting sick.

Already this year, dozens of children have reportedly died from the flu.

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