Several Hamilton County Elementary schools are already seeing the impact the flu has on attendance. The winter weather has arrived, and so has the flu. Area hospitals report a drastic spike in the number of confirmed cases over the holidays.

Hamilton County Schools spokesperson Tim Hensley says some elementary schools have already seen an increase in absences, including Lookout Mountain, Snow Hill, Woodmore, Nolan, and DuPont. Maintenance employees have set off a fogger in those schools to kill any extra germs before students return from winter break.

The Centers for Disease Control says school-aged children are two to three times more likely to get the flu than adults. After each semester every school is thoroughly sanitized to protect each student from getting sick. Hensley says it's common for elementary schools to have more issues with sick children because students are still learning how to prevent the spread of germs. Hensley also says they are teaching each student about cleanliness.

Studies show flu germs can remain on surfaces for up to three days. Children can touch and retouch over 300 surfaces in just 30 minutes increasing the spread of germs. Experts say you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to stop the spread of germs.