JACKSON — The Jackson City School (JCS) District will be closed the rest of the week as a result of excessive absences due to influenza.

JCS Superintendent Phil Howard tweeted on Wednesday, Feb. 5, around 6:53 p.m. that there will be no school tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 6 and Friday, Feb. 7, because of excessive absences due to illness (flu).

Seasonal influenza, also known as the flu, is an illness that causes fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. It is usually spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing.

Howard said all activities including sporting events, club events and the Sweetheart Dances this weekend are canceled. Last week, Alexander Local Schools in Athens County also closed due to an excessive amount of student absences.

Nelsonville-York Superintendent Rick Edwards noted in a Facebook post that although the flu has been hard-hitting, attendance in his district has remained at almost 90 percent. He said that the administrators will continue monitoring the situation.

Trimble Local School’s Superintendent John Hurd also released a statement on the flu, noting that the district’s absenteeism rate “mirros the attendance for the district a year ago today (around 10 percent district wide) which is very positive considering we are in the cold and flu season.” He noted a combined effort to keep the district open.

However, Jackson City Schools do not have such an option.

“All activities are canceled until we return to school on Monday, Feb. 10,” Howard stated.

Jackson City School board member Brian Morris reported that Jackson City School students who attend Buckeye Hills will also be excused Feb. 6-7. However, if a student wants to go, they can go, but no busing from Jackson will be provided.

Most people who get the flu usually recover in one to two weeks, but the flu can be deadly. An estimated 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each year in the United States. On average, it is estimated that there are more than 20,000 flu-related deaths. Not all of these deaths are directly related to the flu, but many are – and possibly could be prevented with a flu vaccine.

The easiest way to protect yourself from the flu is to get a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly can be inhaled into the lungs.

Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. You should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

You can also fight the flu by washing your hands with soap and water, covering your cough, and having healthy habits, which can help your body fight off the flu and other illnesses.

Flu activity in Ohio is increasing and widespread throughout the state with the number of flu-associated hospitalizations rising. The number of flu cases typically peak between December and February.

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