Virginia high school has nearly 1,000 students out sick with ‘flu-like symptoms’

About 1,000 students at a large high school in Virginia called in sick last week with “flu-like and gastrointestinal symptoms,” as doctors in the US urge people across the country to get their flu shot.

Stafford Senior High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia, made the announcement on Facebook Friday as it will continue to review terms on whether to resume extracurricular and athletic activities.

“Due to the high number of student and staff illnesses reported this week, all Stafford High School activities and athletics scheduled through Sunday, October 23 are being cancelled,” the message read.

“We will reassess the terms and conditions and provide you with further information on Monday.”

The disease has spread to nearly half of the entire school population, most recently reported in 2,009 students with a 16:1 student:teacher ratio, according to Public school rating.

About 1,000 students suffer flu-like symptoms at Stafford Senior High School (pictured) in Fredericksburg, VA

The school has been sporadic in its details about the mystery illness, although extracurricular activities were canceled throughout last week

One Facebook user was unhappy with the school for failing to mention the possibility of COVID-19 infections, while another ‘heard’ 950 students were sick all week

“How can you post such a statement and not even talk about the possibility of COVID-19 infections? COVID-19 can also have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, GI issues),’ a Facebook user shared under the school’s post.

“You should encourage both the antigen test and the PCR test for COVID,” she added.

State health officials continue to investigate the cause of the outbreak, which is believed to have affected 950 students, another Facebook user “overheard.”

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Elsewhere in the US, the public health service announced a flu outbreak at Patrick Henry High School of the San Diego Unified School District in California, which has 2,600 students.

“While the county reports several hundred cases of COVID-19 daily and flu season is kicking off soon and early, it is too early to determine the cause of the suspected outbreak at Patrick Henry High School as test results are pending.” the municipal communications agency said in a statement.

Patrick Henry High School is another school in the US with a flu outbreak as 304 lab-confirmed flu cases were reported last week

The county said no hospitalizations had been linked to the illnesses at Patrick Henry High so far, but local hospitals, including Rady Children’s Hospital, have recently seen an increase in emergency room visits due to the flu and respiratory illness. syncytial virus, which usually causes a mild cold. like symptoms.

“We are coordinating with local school districts and checking with other school campuses to find out why so many students have been affected so suddenly,” Dr Cameron Kaiser, deputy public health officer, said in the statement.

The province said 304 lab-confirmed flu cases were reported last week, bringing the total for the season that started on July 3 to 1,082. Last year, around the same time, the province had reported just 200 cases of flu.

Doctors in the US recently advised Americans not to skip getting their flu shots this fall, following a serious outbreak in other parts of the world, most notably Australia.

Meanwhile, doctors in the US recently sent a message to vaccine-tired Americans: Don’t skip your flu shot this fall — and seniors, ask for a special extra-strength strain.

After flu hit historically low levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be poised for a comeback. The most important clue: A dismal flu season has just ended in Australia, the worst in five years, according to The Associated Press.

While there’s no way to predict whether the US will be hit just as hard, “we went into flu season last year not knowing if there was the flu or not. This year we know the flu is back,” said flu specialist Richard Webby of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

In addition, people have largely given up the masking and distancing measures that helped prevent the spread of other respiratory infections earlier in the pandemic.

The flu is most dangerous for people 65 and older, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, including heart and lung disease.

Jacky

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