The Delaware Division of Public Health reported the state's first laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in children for the 2017-18 flu season.

The children are younger than age 4. One is a young male from Sussex County, and the other a female from New Castle County. The pediatric cases bring the total number of flu cases this season to 14 for the week ending Nov. 11. Another eight cases have been preliminarily confirmed for the week ending Nov. 18, with the potential for more to be reported. There are two main types of influenza virus — types A and B — that routinely spread in people and are responsible for seasonal flu outbreaks each year. Both pediatric cases of lab-confirmed influenza are type A.

DPH encouraged Delawareans 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated if they have not yet done so. Because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is recommended to get the flu shot early to give the body time to build immunity. The intranasal vaccine is not being recommended this year based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s analysis, which showed the intramuscular vaccine was better at protecting against certain strains of influenza.

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