Brutal flu season forces many TN districts to cancel school - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Brutal flu season forces many TN districts to cancel school

Posted: Updated:

Almost a dozen Middle Tennessee school districts have closed their doors this week because the flu is so widespread.

Wilson County Schools announced it would close Thursday and Friday for illness after nearly 130 teachers were out sick on Wednesday and school administrators had trouble finding substitutes because they were getting sick, too. 

Wilson County mom Heather Bender said her son caught the flu twice this winter. 

"The first time it took him a week, a week and a half just to feel kind of normal again," Bender said. "He was just, he was miserable,"

She's not only worried about her 9-year-old son Jacob but her baby on the way. She does not want her son to come home from Watertown Elementary with another illness.

"I'm not hyper-vigilant about colds or anything like that, but when there's something this serious going around, I get really paranoid because he has had so many health issues," she said.

Cleaning crews are disinfecting every school in the districts that have closed this week.

Wilson County Schools Spokesperson Jennifer Johnson said the district hires custodial contractors to sanitize the schools whenever they are forced to close due to illness.

"The only thing that I believe can be done to make things better is if the teachers walk through at the end of the day with water, a spray bottle and bleach, and spraying everything down," said Bender.

Some parents told News4 that doctor's offices are feeling the demand for flu test kits, and companies that make them are working double time to ship them out.

Bender said her son once had a false negative result and then later tested positive. She said it's concerning the flu can spread without a person even showing symptoms.

"The fact that the death toll of it is so high and there's that new flu on top of it, it makes things a lot more scary," Bender said. "Spreading it around school -- it's not something that you can avoid. I stay at home, so there's no sense in sending him to school sick when I'm here anyway. The problem isn't always that kids are being sent to school sick. Sometimes it's just that they don't know they have it."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that doctors should treat patients with a false result on a rapid flu test kit the same way as patients with positive results if they are showing common flu symptoms. You can also ask to get a more advanced test in case the virus is mimicking the flu.

According to a CNN report, adenovirus can mimic the flu and is difficult to diagnose because doctors may not test for the virus. 

The TN Dept. of Health says it is not aware of any local Tamiflu shortages at this time.

if your local pharmacy is out of Tamiflu, officials recommend asking your pharmacist to transfer prescriptions another local with the medicine in-stock. 

For a full list of local schools closed this week, click here

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Brutal flu season forces many TN districts to cancel schoolMore>>

Powered by Frankly
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.