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An 8-year-old from New Castle County is both the state's first pediatric case of influenza this season, and the first lab-confirmed case for any age group, Delaware public health officials announced Tuesday. 

"The flu is here,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Now that we have lab-confirmation of our first case, we hope this further motivates individuals who have not yet gotten their annual flu shot to do so right away. Getting a flu shot is quick, easy, and not only protects you, but also those around you. Most of us frequently spend time around someone who is likely to have more severe consequences from influenza. If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones.” 

The flu vaccine is recommended for every resident over six months old, and since it takes two weeks to reach full protection, getting the vaccine earlier rather than later is recommended for protection for the full 2019-2020 season. 

During the 2018-2019 season, Delaware recorded 6,387 lab-confirmed cases of influenza, and more than 1,000 state residents were hospitalized. The season also included 24 deaths attributed to flu complications.