Flu Outbreak Hits The Queen City
CHARLOTTE, NC - Our severe flu season has businesses, even churches, making changes to keep you from getting sick. The flu has claimed another life in North Carolina, bringing the total number of deaths to 17 so far this season. Most of the victims are elderly. Health officials say 22 people in South Carolina have died from the flu.
We are on target for one of the worst flu seasons in decades and the Queen City is on high alert. Many residents already got their flu shots. Uptown resident Susan Bodner says she is taking major precautions, "wiping off carts, washing my hands more, my cuticles are dry from washing them so much."
News of flu outbreaks across the country is forcing the Charlotte community to change its ways. YMCA Senior Marketing Director, Jason Lampton says the YMCA is preparing for the worse, "we do see the risk, we do see that it is important and if we don't get ahead of it then it could be a problem." The YMCA is taking extra steps to keep its 19 branches flu-free, like putting out more hand sanitizer and having employees wipe down the equipment more often. Gyms are not the only places taking extra precautions.
Local churches are also making changed to prevent the flu from spreading. Saint Matthew Catholic Church will not be offering the cup as part of holy communion for the next few weeks or until the flu threat is over. Local parent, Cheryl Bird says their precautions go beyond new policies, "we are wiping her hands when she gets home, we are also having conversations with her day car provider and making sure everything is being sanitized."
One thing is certain, this flu season will have a lasting effect on the Queen City. Bodner says she is still worried about the future of the flu, "In addition to my daughter who is 16, I worry about my father." Many feel that this flu is something that they will be feeling long after the season is over.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has a flu plan. It offers hand sanitizer and recommends they wash their hands on a regular basis.