Breaking News
More () »

School districts across East Tennessee close because of illnesses

Doctors said they're seeing more cases of the flu and RSV in children.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — School districts across East Tennessee have closed over the past two weeks because of illnesses. 

  • Union County Schools closed from 11/2-11/7
  • Newport Grammar closed on 11/7
  • Rogersville City Schools closed from 11/7-11/8
  • Hancock County Schools closed from 11/7-11/11

The East Tennessee Children's Hospital said it's seeing cases of RSV and the flu climb, but their hospital isn't full. 

"We're seeing a lot of volume in the ER," said Dr. Michele Hall, an emergency room physician.

Hall said RSV can cause lots of mucus production, with fevers, coughs and wheezing. For most kids, it can be as mild as a cold, she said. But not all of them. 

"For some kids, that can really cause them a lot of respiratory distress," Hall said. "They need our help with oxygenation, staying hydrated, suctioning."

Hall said she's seen complications from the flu in the emergency room, too. 

"If they're able to stay hydrated, then I'm good with that," Hall said. "Motrin, Tylenol, hydration, and obviously bring them in if you have any specific concerns." 

Dr. Alicia Brooks, a family medicine physician at Fort Loudon Primary Care, said that for children under 1 year old, it's important to watch their fluid intake. 

"Four wet diapers in 24 hours is a good rule of thumb for any kid under a year," Brooks said. 

She said for kids suffering from respiratory illnesses, it's important to keep them hydrated and manage their fever.

"They can use Pedialyte or watered-down apple juice," Brooks said. 

Viewers across East Tennessee have complained about the difficulty finding Tamiflu, but both doctors said the drug is not necessary. 

"I'm not recommending Tamiflu in otherwise healthy kids, because it's not really going to benefit them that much," Brooks said. 

She said there's only one cure for respiratory viruses in children. 

"Time, rest and lots of hugs," Brooks said. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out