The state's first seasonal flu cases have been confirmed in three adults in the Baltimore area, the Maryland Department of Health said this morning.
One of the people stricken was hospitalized and released. The health department did not release other details about the people who were diagnosed. Last season, the first confirmed case of influenza was reported on October 7.
Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that may lead to serious complications such as hospitalization or death in the most severe cases. The virus that causes influenza is spread through coughing, sneezing and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces and objects.
The health department is encouraging the public to get flu shots to fend off the virus.