Rushden does not appear to be as badly hit by flu as other towns in the area. Even on Monday, the first day back after the Christmas holiday most firms reported absences only slightly up on normal.
A spokesman for John White Footwear, the largest, employer in Rushden and Higham Ferrers, said there were 43 people away at the Newton Road factory out of a total of 280.
At Lime Street the figure was 42 out of 340. But at the Corby factory there were double the normal absences with 38 out of 120 away.
At Charles Horrell's boot and shoe factory there was "nothing unusual". Employees there were given flu injections some time ago.