The flu is widespread across the nation with cases quickly rising here in Massachusetts and Public health officials say Arlington is not immune. The towns public health director tells Arlington Public News there are 37 confirmed cases of the flu in Arlington, with actual instances suspected to be even higher.

Arlington public schools are also reporting an increase in students with flu symptoms. APS Nurse Director,┬áSusan Franchi, says she’s urging parents to keep their children home even if they have just a slight temperature, anything at 99.5 degrees or above. The schools and town are working together to keep close tabs on the numbers and are asking the public to keep a close tabs on symptoms, since this is a hard hitting flu that can quickly progress.

The state’s department of public health reports twice as many cases of confirmed flu this time of year compared to last year. If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, Arlington health officials urge you to get one now, saying they have a good supply left over from flu shot clinics held in the fall.

Contact public health nurse Jessica Kerr at (781) 316-3140 to make an appointment or visit arlingtonma.gov for more information.