influenza

Two North Alabama school systems are closing as the number of flu cases across the state increases.

Al.com reports Albertville City Schools will be closed Friday and Monday, while Fayetteville City Schools will close Friday.

Albertville officials say 13 percent of the district's almost 5,700 students were absent Thursday. WHNT-TV reports teachers and custodians will use the student-free days to clean classrooms and other areas.

Fayetteville is reporting higher numbers of flu as well as a stomach virus.

Five school systems in north Alabama with about 25,000 students total are canceling classes because of high incidences of the flu.

The city school systems in Albertville, Boaz and Guntersville have joined the Cullman County and Marshall County systems in shutting down until next week.

State statistics show Marshall County is the largest system affected by the illness with 5,468 students enrolled in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Marshall County does not plan to resume classes until Tuesday; the other four systems plan to return to class on Monday.

State health officials say incidents of the flu are on the rise across Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says flu activity is picking up for the season, and urged people to get vaccinated if they haven't already.

Health officials say if you're going to get vaccinated, you should request the "quadrivalent vaccine" that protects against four different strains of flu. It is the only version that protects against the Type B / Yamagata flu strain which is currently circulating in Alabama.