In the latest incident of the flu outbreak in the US, a Stafford Virginia high school witnessed the absence of almost 1000 students last week.
The students were complaining of gastrointestinal and flu-like symptoms. US health officials are getting alarmed about these flu outbreaks this season as more and more population around different states of the US is getting affected by seasonal flu-like RSV.
Sandra K Osborn, the Chief Communications Officer of Stafford County Public schools told the press that they are actively looking into the root cause for the illness with the assistance of the local health department. She dismissed any connection between the flu the school water fountain and meal service. She also urged the students who travel to take the necessary precautions while coming or going to school.
Students In Virginia High School Are Showing Flu-Like Symptoms
Out of the total 2100 students studying in the school, half of them were affected by flu-like symptoms. Allison Balmes-John, a Health Department Official in the Rappahannock area confirmed that some of the students have tested positive for Influenza A.
The sudden onset of seasonal flu comes as a shock to the nation as the number of COVID cases had almost disappeared throughout the US. The current condition is causing nationwide concern as there is a shortage of hospital beds.
All school activities that were scheduled through the week stand canceled due to a large number of affected students and staff. The school website informed that school athletics and activities are called off and further information will be provided once the authorities assess the situation.
Principal Allen Hicks had made a statement in the school letter addressing the concern of the parents that the school administration would be carrying out a massive cleaning of the school premises including frequent contact areas like door knobs, study tables, lunch hall, etc. throughout Monday.
Electrostatic cleaning methods will also be used to ensure maximum hygiene of the school and its surroundings. The Virginia Health Department also did not ask for the school to be closed rather they recommended proper mitigation strategies to be enforced in the earliest which can contain the outbreak.
Seasonal flu can be a cause of concern when it interferes with routine life and especially academics. Even though it doesn’t pose any severe risks for most people, it can lead to complications in people with low immunity or when they have other health conditions.
So it is always important to take the necessary precautions like keeping your home and surroundings clean, consuming healthy food, wearing masks, washing your hands regularly, keeping away from crowded areas, etc.
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has observed that an early onset of seasonal flu has been reported in different states of the US this year. Among these, the south-central and southeast regions seem to be affected the most with the highest reported case of flu as of last week.
Schools in other parts of the US are also reporting high numbers of flu-like symptoms in students. A school in San Diego was also reported to have around 1000 absentees out of the 2600 total student population.
Currently, hospitals in the US are having a steady rush of patients complaining of respiratory troubles. Almost 70 percent of the hospital beds are filled by these patients.
Dr.Charlotte Hobbs, Professor of Pediatric infectious disease and microbiology at the University of Mississippi medical center had observed that on top of COVID-19, a lot of respiratory viruses are making a comeback. He was expecting a huge number of influenza cases this year, which also turned out to be true.
🔵Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (n.d) Flu Symptoms & Complications (Available On):https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/symptoms.htm
🔵Mayo Clinic (1998-2022) Influenza (flu) (Available On):https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719
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