Approximately one thousand students and several faculty members at a Virginia high school were out last week with the flu and stomach pains.
On Friday, Stafford High School Principal Allen Hicks sent a letter to parents warning them of an “illness outbreak.”
“We are currently investigating the symptoms and are working with the health department to identify the root cause of the illness,” Hicks said in the letter.
Parents are being advised to keep their children home if they are sick, and to make sure they practice good hygiene, such as washing their hands often and covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to resolve this matter,” Hicks said.
At least one parent told local news station WUSA9 that their child had been diagnosed with norovirus, which is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It is unclear if the other students who fell ill have also been diagnosed with norovirus.
The school district said in a statement that it is “taking all necessary precautions to protect students and staff,” and that it will provide updates as more information becomes available.
Hick stated that the high school’s custodial staff were scheduled to wipe down the entire building thoroughly, adding that areas with a lot of contact would be cleaned electrostatically through Friday and Saturday. According to Rappanhannock Area Health District’s investigation (as reported by DC’s FOX 5), all athletics and extracurricular activities are canceled this weekend for Stafford County Public Schools.
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