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County closes elementary schools early because of flu outbreak

Parents across metro Atlanta are dealing with sick kids Wednesday morning. Hundreds of school students in the area have the flu, and the number of absences is growing.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting widespread flu in Georgia.

Most school districts, including Atlanta Public Schools, only have three more days of class until the holiday break.

The Jackson County School District announced Wednesday that all elementary schools will close early for the holiday break because of the flu.

“Jackson County’s elementary schools will close tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 19, one day short of the holiday break, because an outbreak of the flu has affected a significant number of students and staff,” the district said in a statement. “Georgia Department of Community Health recommends an epidemic consideration when more than 10 percent of the students are affected. As of today, we have over 14% of our students absent and a similar number of teachers and staff.”

The district said it will work over the holiday break to clean and disinfect schools.

One school in Carroll County told Channel 2 Action News about a quarter of the students are staying home sick.

“Definitely don’t want to send them to school, to get the flu,” Logan Reeves said.

Logan and Leslie Reeves made the decision not to send their kids to Villa Rica Elementary the rest of this week after a flu outbreak at the school.

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“Last week they said there was anywhere from 60 to 80 kids out. Now there’s well over a hundred?” Leslie Reeves said.

The couple’s son, Joe, got the flu just a few days after he received a flu shot, but before it could take full effect.

“I felt like I was going to throw up. My head was hurting,” Joe Reeves said.

His mom is convinced he got the flu from another student.

She's now concerned her two older kids could bring the flu home and infect their baby.

“I am not going to send my kids to school if they’re going to bring the flu home to my newborn,” Leslie Reeves said.

The mother said she’ll be picking up their school work to do at home and said she thinks the school system could do more to fight the flu.

“Are they going to shut the school down and do something about it?" Leslie Reeves said.

A district representative said all Carroll County Schools are taking preventative measures to reduce the spread of germs during flu season.