Last week, over 1,000 pupils at a large high school in Virginia called out ill with ‘flu-like and gastrointestinal symptoms’ as doctors in the United States urged everyone to get a flu shot.
Friday, Stafford Senior High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia, said via Facebook that it will continue to reevaluate circumstances before resuming extracurricular and athletic activities.
Due to the large number of reported student and staff illnesses this week, all Stafford High School events and athletics scheduled through Sunday, October 23 have been canceled.
On Monday, we will reevaluate the situation and offer you with updated information.
According to Public School Review, the illness has spread to over half of the school’s population of 2,009 children, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16:1.
How could you publish such a statement without mentioning the likelihood of COVID-19 infections? COVID-19 can also cause flu-like symptoms (fever, coughing, sore throat, GI issues), according to a commenter on the school’s Facebook post.
She said, “You should encourage both the antigen test and the PCR test for COVID.”
Another Facebook user ‘overheard’ that state health officials are continuing to examine the cause of the virus, which is believed to have affected 950 students.
DailyMail.com has reached out for comment to Stafford County Public Schools.
Public Health Services confirmed a flu outbreak at the 2,600-student Patrick Henry High School in California, which is part of the San Diego Unified School District.
As test results are pending, it is too early to determine the cause of the suspected outbreak at Patrick Henry High School, the county communications office said in a statement. ‘Although the County reports daily hundreds of COVID-19 cases and has already seen an early and rapid start to flu season, it is too early to determine the cause of the outbreak at Patrick Henry High School,’ the statement read.
No hospitalizations have been linked to the illnesses at Patrick Henry High, according to the county, but neighboring hospitals, including Rady Children’s Hospital, have seen an uptick in emergency department visits due to influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, which typically causes moderate cold symptoms.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the deputy public health officer, said in a statement, “We are cooperating with local school districts and contacting other school campuses to determine why so many pupils have been affected so quickly.”
Last week, the county reported 304 lab-confirmed influenza cases, increasing the total for the season that began on July 3 to 1,082. During the same period last year, the county reported only 200 instances of influenza.
Doctors across the United States have lately given a message to vaccine-weary Americans: Don’t skip your flu vaccination this fall, and seniors should get an extra-strength version.
After reaching record low levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza could be on the verge of making a comeback. According to the Associated Press, Australia has just had its most severe influenza season in five years.
While it is impossible to anticipate if the United States would be similarly hard-hit, last year we entered flu season without knowing whether the virus would be present. Richard Webby, an influenza specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, stated that this year it is certain that influenza has returned.
In addition, people have largely abandoned the masking and distance precautions that helped prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses earlier in the pandemic.
The elderly, small children, pregnant women, and persons with certain health conditions, such as heart and lung disorders, are at greatest risk from influenza.