Flu threat drives more Alabama schools to call off classes

More Alabama schools are calling off classes because of a flu outbreak after dozens of students went home ill this week.

Two Pickens County schools will reopen on Monday following a two-day shutdown because of the illness. WIAT-TV reported that teachers and staff members spent Thursday wiping down locks, desks and mopping floors to help disinfect the high school.

Pickens County High School Principal Craig Perrigin said 70 high school students went home sick with flu symptoms Wednesday. The high school and Reform Elementary were closed.

“I’ve been in education 23 years in Pickens County and I’ve seen flu bugs come through school. But I’ve never seen anything like this,” Perrigin said. “I just want to tell the parents that the teachers are working hard to get this place back safe for your kids.”

Pickens County is located along the Mississippi line in west Alabama. Schools temporarily closed in the south Alabama town of Opp and Lamar County, which borders Pickens County, because of the flu.

Statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health show elevated levels of the flu statewide.

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