With attendance down in several schools from students calling in sick, some schools have had to close. Though one official from the state Health Department says the flu season hasn’t officially kicked off with its first lab confirmed case, he does say doctors have reported rapid tests from their offices confirm incidences of flu outbreak. Spokesman Brian Quinn says that should be a warning to residents. Quinn reminds schools to encourage their students to wash their hands throughout the day and he urges those who suspect they are sick with the flu to stay home and avoid spreading the virus. He particularly urges health care workers to get their flu shots, reminding them although they may not be the most susceptible to flu, many of their patients -who are young or have weak immune systems – are vunerable.Quinn says the flu season can last well into spring and a vaccine starts being effective in about just 10 days.