Local health expert emphasizes keeping kids safe from deadly flu strain

The Center for Disease Control is sending a warning out about the flu with a strain hitting children hard, even killing some of them. 

For the first time in nearly 30 years, influenza b has predominated in the U.S. As the kids at St. Marks Child Development Center are lulled to sleep by the classical tunes. In the next room, employee Leah Steadman is doing her part to put germs to bed as well. 

"I’m always wiping down knobs, anything that someone can touch. I am wiping down to kill germs especially during flu season,” Steadman said. 

The Centers for Disease Control says this year's strain is hitting children the hardest. So far, one child in North Carolina has already died from the flu and nearly 30 nationwide. 

"Some of the cases are super high. They'll have 10-15 children out at a time. It's scary to think because some babies are not able to tell you what's wrong.” 

Steadman emphasized that this strain of flu is far more dangerous to children right now, so parents are the ones that need to be especially watchful. 

"There's a lot of children sick and not elderly sick. We expect that there will be more hospitalizations and not as many deaths.” 

Steadman says when it comes to keeping the virus from spreading at the center, parents need to keep sick kids home.

"You're going to be upset if your healthy child gets sick by someone else's sick child, so keep your child home when they don't feel good and then the next go round that parent will do the same."

There are many misconceptions about the flu, like how effective washing your hands can be. Steadman says it’s critical to wash and dry your hands, to send your chances of getting the flu down the drain. 

"When they sneeze, before and after meals and when they come back inside we make sure they wash hands, so they're washing their hands a lot." 

The other most important thing is to get vaccinated 

"The more people that vaccinate the more useful it is to stop the spread of the virus.”