BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Schools are already dealing with low attendance rates due to the flu.
Several have already closed their doors for several days.
Businesses too must be ready.
Area industries are much like schools, there can be hundreds or even thousands of people all together.
So the concern is there.
Not to mention, when children get sick and miss school, employees must stay home to take care of them.
All that could mean a significant drop in production.
"It is a concern, you know, because you really don't know how really sick it could make the children until they have it and are in the hospital," says Newell Rubbermaid employee Mike Ward.
Ward is concerned he could contract the H1N1 virus at work and take it home.
After all, he works with 350 people at the Newell Rubbermaid plant in Blount County.
But the company has taken action to protect their employees.
A full time nurse practitioner is on duty and the company has a policy dealing with the virus.
"If you have a fever and are diagnosed as such you're not allowed to come back to work until you're cleared up by a doctor or our nurse practitioner," says NewellRubbermaid Director of Operations John Allen.
Alcoa Aluminum has more than a thousand employees.
"We have put hand sanitizers out in all the departments. There's disinfectant type sprays that they can use," says Pam Nichols, nursing supervisor at Alcoa Aluminum.
But unlike area schools which have closed for several days this last week, the flu hasn't impacted these businesses significantly, at least not yet.
"In the last three weeks, we've seen maybe five cases of flu like symptoms," says Nichols.
"Only from the standpoint of some employees being sick or being ill and it being flu season," says Allen.
For those at Newell Rubbermaid, the protection goes beyond the plant.
Allen says they had business meetings scheduled in Mexico where the virus was widespread.
"Our employees are our first concern here and so they canceled those trips," says Allen.
But for Mike Ward, he's hoping he doesn't get sick because not working can impact the home finances.
"Trying to pay for food. My wife also works as well. I could bring that home to her as well and put both of us out," says Ward.
Bob Booker, a senior manager at Denso Manufacturing in Maryville says they're also following much of the guidelines that the centers for disease control are recommending.
While they are providing seasonal flu shots for employees, he says they're working with the health department and hope to provide the H1N1 vaccine to employees and their spouses when it becomes available.