Flu season is underway in Maryland — the state’s first confirmed diagnosis was reported last week — but it’s too early to say if it will be as severe as the 2014 season, the state’s top epidemiologist said.Health officials are hopeful this year’s flu vaccine will offer stronger protection than last year’s, which didn’t quite match one of the four common strains of the virus. The vaccine was updated to better match two of those strains, said Dr. David Blythe, director of the state health department’s infectious diseases bureau. The state’s first case this season came a month later than it did last year. But otherwise, there is no gauge to compare to the 2014-2015 season, which was considered severe, causing 3,700 hospitalizations and the death of one child.
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