BRANCHBURG — An entire New Jersey school district was shut down by the flu on Monday.

The three schools of the Branchburg school district — Branchburg Central Middle School, the Stony Brook School and the Whiton School — were closed due to an "outbreak of the flu among essential personnel," according to the district's website.

Branchburg school superintendent Rebecca Gendel said in a email she was notified by the district supervisor of transportation on Sunday that all the district bus routes would not be able to run and that he was unable to secure substitute drivers."

"The decision to close was not made lightly, and we are working to develop a plan that would allow us to re-open for students and staff tomorrow. All of our buildings were disinfected over the weekend and the buses are being disinfected today. I have been in contact with the Branchburg Health department to confirm that we are taking appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of the virus," Gendel wrote.

Nearly 2,300 students attend the three schools as of the 2015-16 school year.

There have been over 7,300 reported cases of the flu in New Jersey since the season began in October through January 24, according to the state Department of Health, with 124 cases in Somerset County.

There has been just one reported death from the flu in the state, a 4-year-old girl from "central Jersey" whose identity was not disclosed. She was did not have a flu shot, according to the health department.

CDC acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said  53 children have died of the flu so far this season across the country, with 16 cases reported with the past week.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills, although not everyone with the flu gets fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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