- Approximately 1,000 students and some staff were absent with flu-like symptoms at a Virginia school.
- School and health officials are looking for the “root cause” of the outbreak.
- A similar instance occurred last week at a high school in San Diego, California.
Nearly half of a Virginia high school student population and some teachers were absent with flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms this past week.
“There are approximately 1,000 students absent with flu-like/gastrointestinal symptoms at Stafford High School,” Sandra K. Osborn, chief communications officer with Stafford County Public Schools, said in a statement. “Our Health Services team is working with the local health department to identify the root cause of the illness.”
Stafford High School, located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has a total population of approximately 2,100 students.
Athletics and other extracurricular activities have been canceled through Sunday, but the school remained open as officials look into the main cause of the outbreak.
“We remain very concerned and will continue to monitor the situation alerting you to any changes we may need to make to our operations,” the principal, Allen Hicks, said in a letter to parents. “Our custodial staff will conduct an extensive and thorough wipe down of the entire school this evening. High-touch point area cleaning, along with electrostatic cleaning, will continue throughout the day and evening tomorrow.”
A similar instance occurred last week in San Diego, California, where a high school of about 2,600 students had 1,000 absent students likely due to the flu, CNN reported. CNN reported that flu activity gained serious traction about a month ahead of schedule.
Stafford County Public Schools and the local health department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.