Students, teachers take steps to protect against the flu virus

One thing you can do to fight the spread of germs is wash your hands. (Aisha Mbowe, NewsChannel 12 photo)

A North Carolina flu outbreak is blamed for at least 26 deaths and a rise in hospitalizations. A local hospital is under an emergency medical bed status and more flu cases might be to blame.

Carolina East Medical is currently under emergency medical bed status which means they are starting to run low on beds. Vidant Medical also has visitation restrictions for children under the age of 12.

Dr. Ronald May at Carolina East said protecting yourself and your kids starts with getting a flu shot. He said you should also make sure you are doing the basics like washing your hands.

"If you have it or think you have it don't go around people who aren't sick," Dr. May said.

While the shot is only 30 percent effective this season, he said it is still better nothing. Older adults and young children will be the most vulnerable to catching the flu. Oaks Road Elementary School kindergarten teacher Rachel Morelli said while no one in her class has caught the virus so far, she is making sure to teach her kids safe practices.

"We teach appropriate ways to kind of control our germs, ways to sneeze, ways to cough into our elbows so the germs don't really spread," Morelli said. Doctors say if you think your child may have the flu, make sure your call their physician and keep them home from school in the meantime.
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