LOUDON (WATE) – Loudon County Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday due to illness, according to school administrators.
A Loudon County School Board member said the illness is a 24 to 36 hour stomach bug that’s affected close to 300 students in the county.
Officials say they will spend that time cleaning and disinfecting all nine schools.
Matthew Hill, a parent of a Loudon County student, didn’t want to take any chances. He was one of the many parents picking up their kids early Wednesday afternoon. Once his wife told him this illness was spreading, he went to Eaton Elementary to get his son out of the kindergarten classroom.
“The family has been sick and we just don’t want him to go through what we’ve seen with the stomach flu already, so I came and got him as soon as possible and hopefully he won’t get sick,” said Hill.
Hill’s son Riley says close to half of his class was out of school today.
“Some were missing. I would say we had around 12 people in there and there’s like 21 kids in my class,” said Riley.
The bug is also affecting high school students. Bobby Johnson Jr. says his son had to leave school early because he got sick.
“He’s pretty sick, he’s throwing up and his head is hurting,” said Johnson.
Johnson hopes while school is out, his son will get better. He already knows how he plans to take care of him over the next few days.
“I’ll give him some clear liquids, some Gatorades. Just watch him, make sure he’s not dehydrated. Other than that it’ll have to run its course,” said Johnson.
Tammy Bright says her three grandchildren were out of Eaton Elementary. She hopes they disinfect the school.
“They need to bleach and Lysol every single table, desk, chair, everything in the classrooms,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends several steps to protect yourself and your children from sicknesses. They want you to practice good hygiene, so washing hands after you use the bathroom and before you eat, prepare or handle food and to clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.