Perry schools closed Tuesday, Humphreys to close Wednesday - WSMV News 4

Perry Co. schools remain closed Tuesday; Humphreys to close on Wednesday

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Perry County school officials announced Monday it would be closed again on Tuesday because of illness.

The system's director said 18 percent of students were out sick Friday. He said the schools have been disinfected and personnel decided to give students and teachers another day to recover.

Humphreys County officials decided it would be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.

Illness closes several schools

Clay County and Van Buren County schools announced they would be closed the remainder of the week due to illness.

Monroe County, KY, schools will also be closed the remainder of the week. Monday, school officials said only 81 percent of students showed up for class.

Each district has reported high numbers of cases involving flu and strep throat. Last month, schools in Stewart and Macon counties were closed due to illnesses in those areas.

Tennessee hit by early flu season

Local school districts aren't the only ones taking a hit.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that this year's flu season has come earlier than normal, and Tennessee has one of the highest level of flu symptoms in the country.

Family nurse practitioner Marilyn Wyatt Harris with the Little Clinic said one of the main issues is knowing the difference between the cold and flu viruses.

"You want to make sure that you are treating yourself appropriately," said Harris.

Once diagnosed with the influenza virus, patients, she said, should focus on washing hands, wiping down surfaces like cell phones and, most importantly, staying home.

"And not just dosing the children with fever medicine and sending them back to school, but making sure that they are fever-free without medication until it's time for them to go back to school," said Harris.

Depending on the person the flu can last three to seven days.

Health officials said it's safe to return to work or school when the patient has been fever-free without fever medication for at least 24 hours.

It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect.

The vaccine is widely available across the state from a number of providers, including primary healthcare providers, pharmacies, county health departments and even grocery stores, so check around to find a site near you.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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