Flu forces schools to close across the state of Tennessee - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

SCHOOL PATROL

Flu forces schools to close across the state of Tennessee

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Some Rhea Co. students ended up here instead of the classroom on Monday. Photo by WRCB reporter Lori Mitchell. Some Rhea Co. students ended up here instead of the classroom on Monday. Photo by WRCB reporter Lori Mitchell.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The flu is making its way around local schools prompting several districts across the state to close.

Polk County announced Monday afternoon it would be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the illness.

READ MORE | Channel 3 School closings and delays

Rhea County, Van Buren County and Sweetwater City Schools are out Monday and Tuesday because so many students and teachers were sick last week.

Rhea County reported 18-percent of its student body missed school on Friday. That same day, Van Buren County reported as many as 17-percent of kids out sick and the Sweetwater City School District said nearly 10-percent of children missed school because they weren't feeling well.

Monday morning, Channel 3 stopped by Dayton Pediatrics in Rhea County. Healthcare providers there are staying busy with the flu.

"It was really crowded when I got in.  I was shocked at the people in the waiting room," said local mom Brittany Todd.

Todd brought her 7-year-old daughter, Jaidence, to the doctor because she wasn't feeling well.

"The fever is what really got me and then when she couldn't even keep Sprite down, I felt like we should go ahead and come in to get her checked out," said Todd.

The office expects to see around 120 patients on Monday. Most kids are coming in with flu, strep throat and RSV and doctors are also seeing patients with stomach viruses.

"You have the people who come in and you can just tell they really don't feel well and then you have the ones who are your more mild cases," said physicians assistant Andrea Newman.

School districts are doing what they can to stop the spread of the flu.

Cleaning crews spent the day sanitizing Sweetwater City Schools. They wiped down keyboards, door knobs and desks.

Todd told Channel 3 she thinks closing schools for a couple of days was a good idea.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Several school systems closed Tuesday due to sickness

"I'm glad this isn't going to count against my daughter today because she wouldn't have been able to be at school," said Todd.

If you have flu symptoms you should see a doctor within the first 48-hours if you want to take anti-viral medication. 

If you still haven't gotten a flu shot, doctors said it's not too late.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.

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