TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When your kids are at school, what kinds of germs are they bringing home? Each week, 8 On Your Side is checking in with local pediatricians throughout the Tampa Bay area to keep parents updated.

To quote one manager from a Polk County pediatrician’s office, “We are drowning with flu patients.” She told me they’ve had more flu patients this past week than they have seen in quite a while.

Dozens of children have died from the flu this season, including a 12-year old from the state of Florida..

“The  vaccine may have saved his life, and the parents will never be able to hold that child again. But, they are now making a plea, please get your flu shot,” says Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal, Jimmy Patronis.

If it’s not flu, they are seeing kids and teens with flu-like symptoms. That means patients are testing negative for flu and they just have to treat symptoms the best they can and ride it out.RELATED- Fighting the flu: 5 natural ways to boost immunity

Both Pasco and Polk County pediatricians have seen a lot of crummy viruses over the last week in addition to the flu.

In Hillsborough County, doctors are seeing a lot of younger children coming in with RSV– an upper respiratory infection that includes a wheezing cough.

A lot of the pediatric offices say that they are seeing strep throat. They suggest especially if you have little ones who have strep throat, give them anything cold like a popsicle, or Jell-O to soothe their sore throat.

Of course, parents should continue teaching their kids to wash their hands, especially when they are at school.

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