RACINE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- This week the Ohio Department of Health classified the flu as "widespread."
The nurse at Southern Elementary in Meigs County says she's seen about 50 people in the last couple of weeks with symptoms of the flu -- but not all of those are kids. That's because at Southern Elementary they have a clinic that's open to the whole community.
“It starts out with a high fever above 102 and a cough normally,” Amanda Clendenin said.
Clendenin is the Care Coordinator at the Southern Local Wellness Center. It's a full-service clinic right inside this elementary school in Meigs County.
“Sometimes a lot of people wait 3 to 4 days, they think, ‘Oh, this is just sinus or a cold. It's gonna go away,’" Clendenin said. “It doesn't.”
So far, they've had one patient test positive for Influenza A. But Amanda says many people wait so long to get checked out, it's too late to test them.
Third grader Rachel Jackson has seen plenty of her classmates come down with the flu.
“They just say I'm leaving,” Jackson said. “I'm sick.”
Rachel's managed to dodge the flu so far this year.
“How do you make sure you don't get sick?” Reporter Lauren Schmoll asked.
“I don't!” Jackson said.
But for her friends who have had to go to the Wellness Center, she says there's really nothing to be scared of.
“Don't be worried,” Jackson said. “It'll be okay. They'll explain what will happen. And they're very nice.”
Amanda says the Wellness Center makes dealing with the flu a little bit easier for parents and kids.
“Parents either go pick their children up if they have a fever and need to go home,” Clendenin said. “Or they would go to the pharmacy and pick up their medicine and go home as normal and not spend six to eight hours in urgent care.”
As for preventing the flu, Amanda and Rachel both offer the same advice:
“Wash your hands well,” Jackson said.
Health experts also recommend flu shots.
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