Daycare Shuts Down Over Flu

Wednesday, February 27th 2008, 9:49 pm
By: News On 6

The flu epidemic has hit one Green Country daycare center particularly hard.  With half of its staff and children out sick, the Skiatook facility was forced to close its doors.  The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports everyone now is on the road to recovery.

"I want everyone to line up and wash they're shakees," advises Kellie Gee.

Shakees is Osage for hands.  And, washing up has become a daily ritual at Sweet Things Daycare Center.  It's a routine made even more important in the middle of a flu epidemic.

"I have never seen the flu this bad. So, that's why we're really concentrating on the hand sanitizing and really going over that every day," said Kellie Gee of Sweet Things.

The flu bug took a bitter bite out of Sweet Things, keeping nearly half of all children and staff members at home.

"We usually run 60 children and so we were running 30 to 36 children. And then, the staff members were starting to feel ill, too. So yeah, we knew it was leading up to that," said Kellie Gee.

The center said bye-bye to Mackenzie for about a week.  Her father Matthew Gray says both daughter and son got flu-related infections.

"He had the same thing. He had a bronchial infection and she had respiratory. And then I got it," said Matthew Gray.

The epidemic was so bad the daycare center was forced to shut down last Friday.

"Germs are everywhere. But, they are extremely clean and they work very hard to keep everyone safe. So I think it was a great move because it was a safe procedure," said parent Matthew Gray.

After a rough couple of days, the center's director says things are starting to return to normal.

However, the flu epidemic is still in full swing.  The Centers for Disease Control is asking people to take three:  one, take time to get a flu shot; two, take preventive actions like washing your hands, and three take anti-viral drugs if prescribed by a doctor.