The absences at your child's school will be monitored very closely today if you live in Marion County. The Marion County Health Department is preparing to step in and close schools if too many students stay home sick.
At all IPS schools, they are going to be monitoring the situation, but it's important to point out they have not seen any spikes in the flu among students.
Health officials stress the best defense against the flu is to get a flu shot, which is 60 percent effective. Then they say use common sense by keeping hands clean and avoiding contact between your hands and face.
Schools can be a tough place to maintain an illness-free environment due to the large number of students in a confined area.
That's why the health department will be keeping a close eye, in an effort to act quickly if necessary.
"We're sending the request to them to ask that we can get daily rates in regards to children being absent from school," said Dr. Virginia Cain of the Marion County Health Department. "And if we have a significant enough number of those children, then we consider it a possibility should that school be closed."
The Health Department will hold a flu shot clinic Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the health department's training center at 4012 North Rural Street.
Also, you can get free flu shots today at all of the Health Department's district offices.