Rising Flu Cases
Updated: Wednesday, December 12 2012, 08:09 PM EST
The early flu season continues to have a big impact here in the mountains.
More than 100 kids were absent from Smokey Mountain Elementary School in Jackson County. That number went down to 39 Wednesday.
Across the county line, the Cherokee Indian Hospital offered free, drive-up flu shots Wednesday only. The hospital has had 70 confirmed cases in the last two weeks, and more than 500 flu-like illnesses in the last month. They say the flu can lead to more serious illnesses, like pneumonia, so it wants to vaccinate as many people as possible.
Jackson County schools did some extra cleaning to stop the illness from spreading, and letters went out to parents recommending they keep their kids home for two days if they show flu-like symptoms.
By Rex Hodge