BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The flu virus is widespread in Ohio. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the virus is also on the rise across the nation and is expected to continue for several weeks.
Dr. Therese Linnon at Akron Children’s Hospital said doctors have seen many patients in their offices and in the emergency room.
Several schools in the area have been reporting an increase in absences. Boardman Schools Superintendent Tim Saxton said the impact has been small in the primary grades but he has seen an increase in student illness in 7th through 12th grade.
He said he’s had several teachers out sick as well. “When it is faculty members that is when you really feel it. When a teacher is out, it is pretty noticeable even if it is just one or two people,” Saxton said.
As always, hand washing is the best defense against spreading the flu virus but parents play a vital role in keeping illnesses down at school.
Linnon said it is important to keep children home from school when they are sick. One child can infect many others and then that virus is carried home to other family members.
Linnon advises keeping a child home from school until they are without a fever for 24 hours. The same guidelines go for adults, too.
Flu season is expected to peak in about two weeks, so it’s not too late to get the flu shot, however, protection from the vaccine kicks in after about 14 days. A flu clinic is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mahoning County District Board of Health, 50 Westchester Drive, Youngstown.
Flu season runs from October to May.