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North Carolina Surpasses National Average In Flu Cases

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Until now, North Carolina had been on the milder side of the nationwide flu epidemic.

But according to the

latest data,

the Triangle and other parts of the state have surpassed the national average in flu cases.

Wednesday also marked the first time the region's flu activity has been classified as high. That means the flu is widespread and having a significant impact on the community. Typically, this stage lasts six to eight weeks.

The flu bug has hit schools hard. Tuesday, 650 Wake County teachers were out sick -- just under 10 percent of the county's total staff. Schools are using substitute teachers to get by.

Even some of the substitutes are getting sick. The principal at Douglas Elementary said she had a substitute come down with pneumonia and had to get a sub for the sub.

Students also are getting hit with the bug. At Douglas, 54 children were out sick Tuesday.

School administrators are asking parents to keep kids home until they have been fever free for 24 hours.

A Durham county school shut down by the flu re-opened Wednesday. The New Century Charter High School cancelled classes Tuesday for the second day in a row. Administrators said they had too many teachers and students out sick to keep the school open.

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