ERIE — Officials closed the Neosho County Courthouse in Erie Thursday and today because of a flu outbreak.

Neosho County Commission Chair Gail Klaassen said six of the seven employees in the County Treasurer’s office were sick, which did not leave sufficient people in the office that deals the most with the public. Employees were also out in the Clerk’s and the Appraiser’s offices, although Klaassen did not have a total of how many courthouse employees were sick. Commissioners cancelled their Thursday afternoon meeting.

County Health Department Administrator Teresa Starr said the flu is rampant now. She said Influenza A, the type reported at the courthouse, seems to be spreading the most.

The Centers for Disease Control report that the flu is widespread in all states and Kansas is in the highest level of activity for outpatient illness.

Starr said the health department did well this season with the number of people getting flu vaccinations and people can still get vaccinated. Flu shots are available at the health department on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The vaccine is designed based on expectations from the past flu season. Several strains of virus are under influenza A, and the strain a person gets may not be the type the vaccine is designed to prevent, but Starr said even if someone gets sick, the vaccine will lessen the severity and length of the disease.

“Influenza affects everybody differently,” she said.

A person can get influenza at any time of year, but the disease is most common until May.

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