The state's first confirmed flu case this season was detected Thursday in a child living in the Washington suburbs, state health officials said. The child, who was not identified, was hospitalized briefly, but is recovering. The flu strain detected was type A, H1N1. Last year, the first influenza case was reported on Oct. 19. The virus that causes influenza is spread person-to-person through coughing or sneezing or through infected people and contaminated surfaces or objects. Symptoms usually begin one to four days after being exposed to the virus, and include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and body aches.