Health officials: H1N1 Flu spreading across Ala.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State public health officials say swine flu is quickly spreading across Alabama. It is filling doctor's waiting rooms and increasing the number of students staying home from school.

State health officer Dr. Don Williamson said Tuesday that the virus has killed at least four people in Alabama.

He said in the past three weeks the number of schools in the state reporting more than 5 percent of students absent has jumped from 5 percent to 54 percent.

He said the swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is also filling up hospital emergency rooms. Williamson said about 20 percent of patients at hospital emergency rooms are reporting flu-like symptoms.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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