Parents concerned as flu hits Lauderdale County Schools hard

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Tenn. — Siblings, parents and even grandparents are fighting the flu for a second time this winter.

It's costing families their time, money and energy.

Chloe Sweeten can't catch a break.

The 11-year-old has the flu for the second time in weeks.

"It worries me. With the death of the kids who are passing away from it, it really has got me scared," cousin Matthew Ballard said.

And it's not just Chloe, her 13 and 10-year-old brothers have also had it twice.

"It's been rough," Ballard said.

Ballard wants the elementary and middle schools they attend to be temporarily shut down for at least a few days.

"I want them to shut them down to get it cleaned out and get it sanitized out. They need to get the germs and bacteria out," he says.

And it's not just about cleaning. He also wants to keep sick kids away from healthy kids.

"We don't need them going back beside each other and breathing on one another, because you're going to get them sick all over again," Ballard said.

A spokesman for Lauderdale County Schools says this flue season has definitely been bad, but not bad enough for the district to shut down schools.

He says the rate of students missing school has gone from 12 percent in recent weeks, to less than ten this week.

He also says desks, door knobs and other surfaces are constantly cleaned with bleach and other chemicals to keep germs off, but Chloe's grandma, who didn't want her face on camera, says that's not enough.

She too wants the schools shut down so her grandkids don't get the flu for the third time.

"I mean, I worry about them. This is scary. This is something else. It's not the regular flu," she said.

Lauderdale County Schools urges parents to talk to their kids about washing their hands, not touching their face and covering their mouth when they cough.

The district says these tips and regular school cleaning will do the trick.

But Ballard isn't buying it.

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