YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A Youngstown school will be closed through the weekend because of a head lice outbreak.
About 40 kids at St. Christine's School have lice. That's more than 10% of students.
School officials decided to close the school for three days, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday because of the outbreak.
The Ohio Department of Health does not recommend school closures due to lice, but school officials felt they had no other option.
"We just thought that it would be best if we were to close down and give the school and the kids five days to hopefully treat this at home," explained Dr. Nicholas Wolsonovich, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Youngstown Diocese.
The outbreak started about a month ago. The Youngstown City Health Department was called in to help screen children for nits and lice.
"We recommended that everyone get treated," said YCHD Administrator, Erin Bishop. "There might be kids that we missed, they might have been absent that day, we didn't check them, and it's easy to miss."
The health department provided families with information about treatments, including a new one-dose prescription medication called Natroba.
For people who've been infested, the Centers for Disease Control also recommends that you wash and dry clothing and bed linens and soak combs and brushes in hot water for five to 10 minutes.
"There's no communicable disease that lice carry," said Bishop. "There isn't a danger really. It's just getting rid of them. It's a nuisance."
The school nurse and the Youngstown City Health District are planning to re-check students for lice on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
For more information about treating lice visit http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/