The flu is taking a toll on the First Coast, especially when it comes to school bus drivers in Clay County.

One bus driver for the School District of Clay County told First Coast News that the district is short on drivers because everyone is calling out sick.

"It felt like my whole body ached," Kelly Mead said.

She said with so many kids also getting sick, it's getting worse.

"Sending your kid with a fever, especially a high fever, you're sending them on a bus with a bunch of kids, including the driver, and you're putting everyone at risk," she said. "We have administrators and supervisors, managers actually out there driving."

A Fleming Island doctor, John Fetchero III, said it's peak season for the flu.

"Our doors are pretty well slammed," he said.

And so are drivers like Mead.

"Bus drivers are driving each other's routes right now," she said. "I'm driving somebody else's route right now and I'm not at work."

First Coast News asked Fetchero when is a good time to return to school or work if you're caught with the flu.

"You want to make sure that they're at least fever free for at least 24 hours without any help of any other medications," he said.

Otherwise, he said stay home.

Mead, who is out because of the flu, said she hopes to return to work on Monday. In the meantime, she is asking parents to be patient.

"The kids are sick, we're sick, we're trying to get your kids to school as best we can," she said.

First Coast News reached out to the school district for comment about the flu impacting bus drivers. In a statement, the district said there isn't a shortage:

Clay County District Schools is not experiencing a shortage of bus drivers due to the flu. While the District has had about a dozen drivers out due to illness over the past two weeks, they have not been absent at the same time. Overall, the District has 176 bus drivers and 60 monitors. The transportation department uses 19 intern drivers every day to cover for drivers who are out and fill in on the open routes. In addition, the District has office staff who are CDL trained and can cover routes in the event of a shortage.