CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The flu is overwhelming hospitals with patients across the country, and the Carolinas are no exception.

There have been hundreds of hospitalizations this season, and a total of 41 deaths in North Carolina and South Carolina so far.

Dr. Purva Grover, with the Cleveland Clinic wants parents to be extra aware and cautious right now. 

"At any given point, if you feel something is not right with your child – and that something could be the way he or she is breathing, the way he or she looks, the way their color might be – all of those things can be sign of impending not-so-good stuff," said Dr. Grover.

To alleviate doctor offices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping medical staff triage calls by using an algorithm that asks about symptoms and gets to a treatment plan quickly.

In the 2017-2018 flu season, the numbers were historic. 49 million people suffered from the virus, and 79,000 of them died.

As we get closer to February, more people will become ill, so it's important to take care of yourself. The CDC found February is the peak month for influenza. 

A Harvard study actually concluded a few possible reasons for that:

  1. People stay inside because it's too cold out and spread germs.
  2. People lack sunshine/vitamin D.
  3. The virus survives better in the cold.

A K-12 school in Raleigh had to close Tuesday and cancel classes Wednesday because too many students and staff came down with the virus. 

No widespread outbreaks have caused schools to close around Charlotte yet, but remember last season? Doctors reiterated it's not too late to get the flu shot.