CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A flu outbreak has struck students and staff members at a northwest Charlotte elementary school.
Chunda Hunter picked up her sick niece from Oakdale Elementary School on Friday, her second trip to pick up a family member. Her son is already at home with flu-like symptoms.
"You try to do the best you can, wash your hands, you tell them to do everything, but kids, they have germs,” Hunter said.
Hunter’s family isn’t alone in catching the virus.
She said 18 teachers and 23 students were out sick Thursday.
In a message sent to parents this week, the school’s principal said a large number of staffers and scholars have the flu and encouraged parents to keep kids home if they're sick, and to get proper medical attention.
[North Carolina hospital restricts visitors due to flu]
"Yes, they said the flu was going around actually in one class,” parent Anthony Glover said. “They had 25 students in the class and they only had 14 show up today, and out of the 14, two had to go home."
Another message from a teacher said they are washing hands when entering and exiting the classroom and cleaning tables several times throughout the day.
"They are doing everything they can,” Hunter said. “They even called us yesterday to let us know what was going on."
"Going here, we had to extra sanitize ourselves while we were in there,” Glover said.
Parents said it is a tough time of the year for their children to get sick.
"Around this time, they are testing, so I think it's vital for them to be in school,” Glover said. "Most certainly, it's very dangerous and deadly, so we're trying to do everything that we can to make sure our kids stay safe."
Until the flu outbreak passes, parents say they are staying alert.
"Sterilizing, Lysol, hand sanitizer, the whole nine yards,” Hunter said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said it would take them a few days to provide numbers of how many students and teachers called out sick.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department said fewer than 20 children were sent home by the school nurse with flu-like symptoms.
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