“Potential illness outbreak” at Virginia highschool causes lots of of scholars to overlook faculty with flu-like signs

A Virginia highschool will stay open at the same time as lots of of scholars proceed to remain residence due to flu-like diseases. 

Stafford Excessive College, positioned in Fredericksburg, Virginia, had a “excessive variety of pupil and employees diseases” reported final week, prompting the college to close down all actions and athletics scheduled from Friday via Sunday, the college mentioned. The varsity, which has roughly 2,100 college students, noticed 1,000 pupil absences on Friday. On Monday, 670 college students have been absent, and on Tuesday, 526 college students — a few quarter of the scholar inhabitants — continued to overlook faculty, the district’s chief communications officer Sandra Osborn informed CBS Information. 

“All different colleges stay inside regular absence charges for this time of yr,” Osborn mentioned. “We are going to proceed monitoring the diseases with the Rappahannock Space Well being Division.”

On Monday, the college mentioned the Virginia Division of Well being beneficial that the district’s colleges stay open and that mitigation measures proceed. 

“After consulting with our well being division, all actions happening amongst Stafford Excessive College college students might resume Tuesday,” the college wrote on Fb. “This consists of actions akin to after faculty homework or check make-up, golf equipment, and practices. Athletic practices amongst Stafford Excessive College college students may additionally resume Tuesday.”

Athletic matches between colleges, nevertheless, are nonetheless canceled on Tuesday to “decrease publicity to different colleges.”

After consulting with our well being division, all actions happening amongst Stafford Excessive College college students might resume…

Posted by Stafford High School on Monday, October 24, 2022

The rampant sickness has left some afraid to return to highschool. 

“My daughter is among the sick ones,” one guardian commented on the highschool’s Fb web page. “Actually, she is scared to return.”

The Rappahannock Space Well being District mentioned Monday that it is working with the college district to “examine a potential disease outbreak” at the highschool “after a lot of college students referred to as in sick and reported related signs” on Thursday and Friday. 

“Since that point, the college has reported that a lot of college students have examined constructive for influenza A, and extra are displaying respiratory and gastrointestinal signs in line with the flu,” the well being district mentioned. 

The announcement got here the identical day that the state’s Division of Well being said this yr’s flu season is “displaying regarding, early indicators that it might be worse than lately.” 

“Extra persons are in search of care in hospitals and pressing care facilities for influenza-like sickness than at this level in earlier years, significantly younger youngsters aged 0-4 years,” the division mentioned. “Virginia well being officers encourage everybody aged six months and older to get a flu vaccine this fall, with uncommon exception.”

Outbreaks have been sweeping via colleges in different components of the nation as effectively, with half the students out sick at a San Diego faculty earlier this month.

Virginia State Well being Commissioner Dr. Colin M. Greene urged individuals get vaccinated in opposition to the flu and to take preventative measures, together with staying residence when sick, utilizing the elbow to cowl the mouth and nostril when coughing or sneezing, and incessantly washing fingers. 

The division additionally warned that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can be circulating all through the state. RSV is widespread in youngsters and circumstances sometimes surge from December to February, however this yr hospitals in dozens of states are seeing a dramatic uptick.

“Emergency division and pressing care visits with identified RSV have quadrupled and have been quickly rising in Virginia’s syndromic surveillance system since early September,” the division mentioned. “RSV is widespread and often causes delicate to average signs in most individuals however will be very harmful for younger infants or those that are immunocompromised.”

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