Hamilton County schools join list of others closed Friday due to - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hamilton County schools join list of others closed Friday due to illness

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Eight county school systems in the Channel 3 viewing area will be closed Friday due to illness.

Hamilton County was the latest to join that list, reporting more than 3,000 students were absent Thursday and more than 200 teachers. 

As soon as students and teachers left Snow Hill Elementary cleaning crews came in to disinfect.

They're trying to kill the bug that's kept thousands of students home from school this week.

Apryl Hughes says her first grader is healthy, for now. So the day off from school will be more like a vacation.     

"I don't work on Fridays so it's just going to be a fun day," Hughes said.

But she feels for the families who don't have as much flexibility with changing their own schedules last minute.

"It's tough when you've got kids and you work and you've got to try and figure out, you know they need to be home and resting but if you've got to work, how to balance all of that," Hughes said.

Some parents had to spend their night at the doctor's office.

"Right now in the middle of flu season it's just pretty steady all day long," said Dr. Charles T. Rudolph of AFC Urgent Care.

Dr. Rudolph said flu germs can spread to others up to 6 feet away and closing schools for a few days is a smart choice. 

"The idea is to get the students away from each other back at home to where they can't possible infect some of their other healthy classmates," Dr. Rudolph said.

The waiting room at AFC Urgent Care was busier than usual. The Cleveland office has treated about %50 percent more patients this week alone.

While being surrounded by the virus, we asked Dr. Rudolph his secret to staying healthy.

"I wash my hands several hundred times a day and I think I have a pretty good immune system I've been lucky," he said. 

Apryl Hughes hopes her own secrets to staying healthy will keep her daughter away from the doctor, and enjoying an extra long weekend with mom.

"You know we do our little extra shot of vegetable juice every morning and try and get to bed on time as much as possible," Hughes said. 

Dr. Rudolph said if there's any signs of sickness in your house the sooner you get tested for the flu or another virus, the better.

READ MORE | So you have the flu. Now what?

He's been writing a lot of prescriptions this week for Tamiflu, and so far pharmacies seem to be keeping up with the demand.

For more information, visit AFC Urgent Care online.

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