CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- Flu season has come early this year according to the Department of Health of Lee County, who say they expect a spike in flu cases this year.
"We're seeing a pretty large spike in cases over the last two weeks," Jennifer Roth, the department's Epidemiologist said.
Lee Health reported similar numbers at their facilities. From December 25-31, the hospital system saw over 250 cases of Influenza A and nearly 350 cases of Influenza B. These numbers are more than last season's peak number of cases.
And when it comes to protecting your children, the Charlotte County School Board Liaison, Mike Riley, says schools are taking every step possible to make sure kids are safe.
Riley says he remembers the last time there was an outbreak at a school a couple years back, explaining parents pulled not only the sick kids away from school, but the healthy ones. He says it was means of precaution.
“We couldn't figure out where is everyone today at this school," he explained. "It had just hit at that school and you know, you can’t fault them for that, that’s their most precious thing in the world.”
Riley says Charlotte County schools offer free flu shots to kids at in-school clinics with the parents consent. He added, that if teachers get sick, the school is also ready to support them with substitute teachers available and on call.
“If you’ve never been a teacher in a classroom and you’re not up to your game you’re going to feel a whole lot worse if you get there.”
Riley says so far there as been no outbreak or increases in flu cases at any of the Charlotte County Schools. He recommends parents remind their kids to consistently wash their hands and stay away from school if they get sick.