Schools close in North Carolina, Idaho amid flu outbreak

Experts weigh in on the best ways to keep children protected from the flu, including making sure they know the proper way to wash their hands.
6:04 | 01/12/18

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Transcript for Schools close in North Carolina, Idaho amid flu outbreak
Back now with what to do about the flu and school. Alabama has declared a state of public health emergency and classes are closed in north Carolina and Idaho as the virus spreads. T.J. Holmes has more on how to keep your kids healthy. We teach them sharing is caring and want them to share. Well, sharing during flu season with your classmates can get you a cough, runny nose and a trip to the doctor. How do you curb your child's habits in a classroom where as you'ut to see germs spread shockingly fast. Children are some of the most vulnerable. They have shut down all classes for the next two days. We now know 45 people have died this season including a 1-year-old baby. I really don't want my kids to get the flu so while they're at school I remind them they should wash their hands. I tell them don't touch your eye, nose, don't touch your mouth. Reporter: In Idaho an entire school shut down because of the flu. This school closed after 160 kids fell ill. The CDC says flu is most dangerous to children under 5 because their immune systems are not as developed as those of older children. So what if one of your child a classmates is sick? How quickly is that virus likely to spread in class? Well, in 2014 our Paula Faris tested just that with a group of New Jersey fourth graders. Good morning, miss Paula. Reporter: Using a harmless powder called glow germ that spreads between people and on surfaces like a virus would. A powder we put on your hands. You can't usually see it. Only under ultraviolet light and one hour after putting the powder on two students it spread to every single child in that classroom. Right here. Look at that. We brought in family Dr. Mike voshofski and he said all that could be due to sharing. Oh, look at that. Kids love to share pencils and toys. When that happens you'll have a lot of germ interaction as well. Reporter: But also striking, most of the children transferred the powder to their fays where it can enter the body. You can see you rubbed your nose. This is interesting. Reporter: Dr. Mike reminds us it didn't travel just by touch but by air too. You're not accounting for the amount of germs coming out from their mouth when they're talking and sneezing on each other. Reporter: So the first line of defense, yep, hand washing. But the key make sure you they know how. Hard to get them to remember to do it in the first place but when they do it, what should they keep in mind to make sure they're clean. Important they spend enough time to do it. What's a song that every kid know, happy birthday. Sing it twice through and that means you wash your hands long enough. If you haven't get those flu shots right away. Everybody, six months of age or older needs to get a flu shot. If your child is 6 months to 8 years of age and getting their first flu shot they need two shots, one month apart. That's really important because the first one is really a primer for the second one to work. All right, so why is this washing of the happens such a big deal here? Because, folk, if you are your hands are dirty you might be okay and not get sick. What do we do all day we touch our faces all day. This is one of our co-workers at a meeting in a matter of that meeting we clocked him and he touched his face some 44 times. He didn't know he was being filmed. He had no idea he was doing this. Had no idea so he does it that much and Dr. Ashton can tell you it's not just -- we tell kids don't put your hands in your mouth. You rub your eyes. He's this trouble. All the time. We are getting a lot of questions coming in on this. First a viewer said our family didn't get the flu vaccine. My-year-old has the flu. Should I get the vaccine for my other son even though he has been expoexposed. Vaccines in children, we need to clarify if they have never been vaccinated and over 6 months of age and under 9 years of age which means 8 years and 11 months, they need two doses, one month apart. If it's their first time getting vaccinated. Vaccine is still the first most important line of defense. If you have a known or suspected even exposure in your home, then you're talking about the use of something like Tamiflu antiviral medication. It is available generic now in liquid form to reduce not only the contacts getting sick but to shorten the duration of symptoms and severity and new information on antivirals. They only work in the first 48 hours. New data out of the CDC suggests this is not true and survival benefit in higher risk patients if given after that two-day window so treatment should not be with4e8d because you're at 49 hours. Another question. I have my children take mul multivitamins daily. Does this help keep them healthier. Such an important question and the people who like vitamins are going to be loathe to stop taking them. It's controversial when it comes to the flu virus. There was a big study last year in the British medical journal that suggested based on observation and association that people who took vitamin D supplementation slightly had lower risk of getting the cold virus or flu virus. More is not better and the verdict is still out. Real quick we know it's dangerous to pregnant women, elderly and, ginger, I know you're -- Terrified. Trying to keep your son out of school. My 2-year-old goes to nursery three hours two days a week but I don't want him to be there like this. Is that crazy? That is an individual decision but I will tell when you it comes to pregnancy high risk population for complications and deaths. The only patient I ever had "Die a happy man"ed of influenza while pregnant. I take it seriously. I will make a house call. My goodness gracious. Don't scare me. Go wash your hands. Doc, thank you. Very helpful. Appreciate that. My goodness. Our iPhone challenge. We'll drop the new and most

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