N.C. flu season worst in four years

February 20, 2008 4:40:30 PM PST
Like so many other schools across the state, the flu has hit Friendship Christian School in Raleigh hard with almost half its population of 335 students out sick.

"This last week, we had 71 students in high school out. We had about 63 in the elementary out," said Friendship Christian School Principal Michael Cole.

In recent weeks, Kathy Filigoro, who works in the front office, has seen dozens of sick students leaving school early. "I think it's been worse this year than prior years," said Filigoro.

This flu season is already the worst North Carolina has seen in quite some time. State health officials say flu like illness accounted for 5.17 percent of hospital and clinic visits for the week ending February 9, 2008. That's higher than the peaks for the last four years.

Last year the season peaked at 3 percent.

At Friendship Christian School, it's not just the students suffering.

"The worst problem was our teachers," said Cole. "About two or three or four teachers a day. First week in February, we almost cancelled school cause it was just, it was pretty bad."

Health officials say one of the reasons this years flu outbreak may be so bad is because the vaccine isn't a match for one of the strains.

But, officials still say it's not too late to get a flu shot, which is your best protection along with good hygiene. Experts say getting the flu vaccine may help slow the spread in communities and can still protect you. Protection starts two weeks after vaccination.

Flu season ends in May.


Load Comments