KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A number of East Tennessee school systems have cancelled classes over the past two weeks due to a large number of students and faculty dealing with illness.
There has been an influx of flu cases in the last few weeks at Knoxville Pediatric Associates. One doctor there says it’s officially flu season.
“We’ve seen a lot of kids, a lot more positive flu both flu A and flu B. These children are really sick,” said Dr. Kurt Brandt.
Brandt advises parents and children to thoroughly wash their hands, stay away from others that might be sick, and recommends to get their flu shot sooner rather than later.
“Anytime you can get a flu shot, even now that we’re in the flu season. Now is a good time to get a flu shot if you haven’t already.” said Brandt.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list Tennessee’s influenza cases as regional, not widespread. The symptoms are generally the same.
“Fever, runny nose, nasal congestion, cough. They feel very achy too. That’s one of the hallmarks I think of flu is that they have body aches.” said Brandt.
Dr. Eric Penniman with Summitt Medical Group says there have been three illnesses going around that have led to the closure of schools. Influenza, strep throat and a gastrointestinal virus. He says it’s important to keep your children home if they are sick.
“For our entire community one of the best things that can happen is if the children are sick and they stay at home, it will prevent the spread throughout our community,” he said.