Increased flu activity has been reported in 44 of Alabama's 67 counties, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health's influenza surveillance map.
He said it's impossible to predict how each flu season will pan out.
This means local emergency medical services - including emergency rooms and ambulances - have been stretched to near capacity over the past week. Of the 421 students with flu-like illness, 118 of them were confirmed flu cases.
The flu may not sound like a big deal, but if you've ever had it, you know it can make you feel miserable. Some people get very nauseous and vomit.
Myanmar: Reuters journalists must be released
The military has severely restricted access to northern Rakhine state to journalists, aid groups and observers. The government has denied that their arrests represent an attack on press freedom.