A few East Tennessee schools, including Knox County, have decided to close for a few days due to illness.
Webb School of Knoxville will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 6-7.
Knox County, Alcoa City, Roane County and Monroe County schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 5-6. The STARS program in the City of Alcoa will also closed those days.
KCS officials said staff will be cleaning the schools those days. Central office, maintenance and custodial staff will report to work as normal, the district said.
Monroe County Schools said no activities or games will take place in any school buildings starting Saturday, Feb. 3 through Tuesday, Feb. 6. That also means there will be no Upward or Jr. Pro games held in county schools on Saturday.
Newport Grammar school, Lenoir City and Loudon County schools will be closed Friday, Feb. 2 and Monday, Feb. 5.
Director of schools in Loudon County, Jason Vance, said that all nine schools saw somewhere between 10 to 30 percent of students absent.
"The flu has hit us quite hard this year, unlike any other year we've seen, as a matter of fact," said Vance.
A major factor in the decision to close, however, is the amount of teachers calling in sick, either to take care of themselves or their sick children.
"And that's where we start running into issues, when we can't get substitutes for our teachers," said Vance.
"It raises a red flag."
With influenza at widespread levels across the country, fears about adverse psychiatric side effects of the prescription drug Tamiflu have gone viral on social media.
WBIR 10News spoke to experts at UT Medical Center to verify the facts about Tamiflu.
Basically, if the virus checks into your body, Tamiflu makes it more difficult for it to spread from infected cells.
The drug can treat the flu if you start taking it within the first 48 hours of symptoms. After a couple of days of flu symptoms, the virus has likely already spread in your body and Tamiflu would not be very effective, according to Pharmacist Brian McCullough.
Tamiflu is approved for nearly all ages, from infants to the elderly. Side effects are usually upset stomach or headache.
Earlier this week, King's Academy in Seymour chose to close due to the flu. They reopened on Thursday.
School staff said about 15 percent of students were absent Monday, and many more left early because they were sick. In some classes, 30 percent of the students were out.
Administrators at King's Academy said they can only remember one other time in the last 30 years when they closed because of the flu, but with the sickness spreading quickly down the halls, they sent the kids away for a deep clean of the whole campus.