The Maryland Department of Health has confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric death for this flu season in the state.

The department confirmed the death in a news release but said it can’t discuss the specifics of individual cases. The release says Influenza-associated pediatric deaths are required to be reported to the department.

Maryland public health officials have detected a marked increase in influenza activity since mid to late December and are warning the public to take measures to prevent influenza, especially by getting the influenza vaccine.

News outlets report that the death comes during a particularly challenging flu season nationwide, with the disease causing the deaths of dozens of children.