Local doctors see uptick in children with the flu

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Kim Kehoe says her mind started racing after a scary phone call earlier this week.

“I got a phone call from the school on Tuesday that he was not quite himself, that he was pale, lethargic,” Kehoe said.

Her 7-year-old son Jacob caught the flu at school and had a fever of 102.

“With the deaths that have been caused by the flu, it is scary,” the mother said.

Kehoe sees sick children all the time as a nurse with Greensboro Pediatricians.

“It's been one of the worst flu seasons that I can remember as a parent and a nurse,” she said.

Pediatrician Dr. Carmen Thomas says the office has been swamped with flu cases.

"A lot more phone calls, a lot more office visits," she said.

The Center for Disease Control reports that 63 children have died from flu complications this flu season, leaving many parents on the edge.

"They're nervous,” Thomas said. “They're worried. They're hearing about what's going on in the news."

She says in many cases, the illness could have been prevented.

"About 85 percent of children who are hospitalized or who have died from the flu are the ones who did not have flu vaccine," Thomas said.

And even if your child has the vaccine, she urges, they should still be extra careful.

"Lots of hand washing, covering coughs and colds," she said.

It’s advice Kehoe is taking seriously, while trying to keep her other two sons from getting sick too.

“We have changed and washed pillowcases, sheets, comforters,” Kehoe said. “This is the first time that any of my children have had [the flu], so it's been a really bad case this year.”