More than 1,000 students absent from San Diego County schools

School officials said the symptoms were mainly fever, cough and headache.

SAN DIEGO – San Diego County Public Health Services is investigating a large suspected outbreak of respiratory and flu-like symptoms reported among students at Patrick Henry High School and Del Norte High School.

About 400 students were absent from Del Norte High School Wednesday and Thursday due to an outbreak of a flu-like illness.

School officials said the symptoms were mainly fever, cough and headache.

According to Poway Unified spokeswoman Christine Paik, the absences began on Monday.

“What we saw from Monday coming back from the weekend, we had 189 absences. On Tuesday and Wednesday that jumped to almost 400,” Paik said.

The students just celebrated their return this weekend. However, Paik said not all sick children went home.

She said their symptoms resemble those of the flu, similar to the symptoms of students at Patrick Henry High School.

A San Diego Unified spokesperson told CBS8 on Wednesday that more than 1,000 Patrick Henry students have called in sick.

While county doctors are still waiting for test results to come back, at this point they believe most students at both high schools have the flu.

“Although this is preliminary, a number of them have already tested positive for influenza A. Influenza A is the hardest of the main types of influenza that we face each year,” said Dr Cameron Kaiser, San Diego County Deputy Health Officer.

Dr Kaiser warns that flu season is hitting much earlier and harder than usual, saying that while flu season usually starts in October, we don’t normally see an increase in cases until the end of the month. autumn or the beginning of winter.

“We have already reached 1,000 total flu cases in October, a quarter of the entire season last year. We are seeing the flu hitting now and we are seeing it hit earlier than usual,” said the Dr. Kaiser.

And it’s not just in San Diego.

The CDC has reported an increase in flu cases nationwide. This, after the Southern Hemisphere had its worst flu season in years, which doctors here in the United States are using to predict how our flu season will be.

Why is this year so different?

Dr. Kaiser says part of the reason is that we are more relaxed with COVID protocols, which have protected us from illnesses other than COVID.

“We’re kind of in this lull of COVID-19 surges and people are starting to relax a bit and pay less attention to how they’re doing things,” Dr. Kaiser said.

At this point, no word on the hospitalized students, although Dr Kaiser warns that further outbreaks are likely. He urges everyone six months and older to get a flu shot.

“The main thing for winter is that people have to buckle up and make sure they’re protected because it’s probably going to be bad,” Dr Kaiser said.

Additionally, school officials are reminding parents to take extra precautions.

If your child has symptoms, keep them away from school

WATCH RELATED: Suspected Respiratory Outbreak at Patrick Henry High School Investigated (October 2022)

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