Flu outbreak forces Humphreys County schools to close

Sick child
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A flu outbreak has closed another Middle Tennessee school system this week.

Officials for Humphreys County schools announced last Friday their plans to close all seven of their schools for the entire week of Feb. 2 after a large number of students reported flu-like symptoms.

District official Robert Martin told News 2 Monday they started tracking student absences a few weeks ago and noticed spikes.

Humphreys County schools will resume classes Feb. 9 after a flu outbreak.

“We have a little less than 3,000 students in the school district and there were between 12 percent and 15 percent of students either absent or checking out during the day. They’ll come to school and get sick and check out near the end of the day,” said Martin.

In addition to cancelling classes this week, school officials also postponed the state’s TCAP Writing Assessment exam scheduled for later this month.

Nurse practitioner David Yancey, the owner and operator of McEwen Family Clinic, said he has also seen a spike recently of children coming to his clinic with the flu.

“Normally, kids are about 20 percent of who we see and certainly the last couple of weeks it’s been closer to 30 percent to what we see,” said Yancey.

Humphreys County fifth grader Sarah Pernell was at the clinic Monday being treated for flu-like symptoms. The 12-year-old told News 2 she rather be in school.

“I don’t like to be sick. I like to go to school,” said Pernell.

Humphreys County schools will be back in session Monday, Feb. 9.

In addition to Humphreys, Lewis, Overton and Perry counties havealso  cancelled classes in recent weeks due to flu-like illnesses. Perry County schools have been closed since Friday and will reopen Tuesday.

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