ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Influenza cases continue to rise across the St. Louis area.

The flu was so bad last week in the Missouri boot-heel town of Clarkton that Superintendent DeLane Beckwith closed the public schools for a few days.

“We were dropping like flys, so we had about seventy kids out,” he says.

Last week saw the biggest total of newly confirmed flu cases this season for St. Louis County, 552, way up from 383 the week before.

St. Charles County also saw another big jump, 317 new cases compared to 203 new ones the previous week.

In total so far there are more than twenty-one hundred cases in St. Louis County, more than fifteen hundred in St. Charles County, more than six hundred in St. Louis City and more than twenty thousand throughout Missouri, where flu activity is still considered widespread.

Illinois flu activity just dropped from widespread to moderate.

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