As U.S. health officials grow concerned about the impact of this year’s flu season, nearly half of the students at a Virginia high school were free of flu and gastrointestinal symptoms this week, according to the school district.
“At Stafford High School, approximately 1,000 students are missing with flu-like/gastrointestinal symptoms. Our Health Services team is working with the local health department to identify the source of the illness,” said Sandra K. Osborne, Stafford County Public Schools. communications manager, in a statement.
Stafford High School, located in the northern Virginia city of Fredericksburg, has an enrollment of approximately 2,100 students, Osborne said.
School activities scheduled for the weekend have been postponed, according to a post on the Stafford High School website.
“Due to the high number of student and staff illnesses reported this week, all scheduled activities and athletics at Stafford High School through October 23rd have been canceled. We will review conditions and provide more information on Monday,” the message read.
CNN has reached out to Stafford County Public Schools and the county health department for more information.
There has been an early uptick in seasonal flu activity across most of the US, with the nation’s southeastern and south-central regions experiencing the highest flu levels last week, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Other school districts in the US have also reported an increase in flu-like symptoms among students. At least two schools in the San Diego Unified School District experienced high absenteeism rates last week, with one school recording about 1,000 absences out of 2,600 students, a school spokeswoman told CNN.
Flu activity in the US often begins to increase in October and usually peaks in December and February.