Four Alabama school systems are closed today (Monday, January 28th) due to outbreaks of flu.
Albertville, Marshall County, Boaz and Guntersville are all closed Monday; Albertville was closed Friday; Marshall County, Boaz and Guntersville are also shutting down Tuesday. In Boaz, absentee levels topped 10% on Friday. Cindy Saye Wigley, the superintendent of Marshall County Schools, said she hopes the four days of limited exposure to others will decrease the cases of flu in the system. The systems said the extra days will also be used to sanitize the schools.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention the influenza virus is considered widespread in at least 36 states, including Alabama. Flu can cause mild to severe illness and at times, death – especially for the young and the elderly, as well as those with underlying health conditions. It is marked by a sudden onset and can include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle and body aches.
To avoid getting and spreading the flu, the Alabama Department of Public Health urges people to:
- Get flu vaccine; it is not too late
- Stay at home if you have a fever
- Wash your hands
- Cover your cough and sneeze
- Clean and disinfect