Gaston County Sheriff's Office fighting hard to stop spread of flu at department

The flu is striking everywhere, including a local sheriff's department.

Deputies in Gaston County have been getting sick. In the last week, 20 employees have called out because of the flu. The department is managing even with people being out.

"It hit us hard. It has been a strain on us. So we're trying to make sure that we cover all of the positions and we're doing so and doing so appropriately," said Captain Robert Mitchem.

RELATED: 34 new flu deaths reported in NC; 140 this season

Department workers say staff members have been instructed to wipe down their work areas, to use hand sanitizer and to wash their hands more often. 

While they didn't have an exact number for how many people have called out this flu season, the department they've seen an increase in staff calling out for it.

RELATED: Rock Hill hospital sees drastic increase in flu cases

Health experts said the flu has been more prevalent this year. The latest numbers show for this flu season, there have been 140 flu deaths in NC statewide and 106 flu deaths in SC.