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.
On Thursday, Poway School District reported Del Norte High had close to 400 students out on Wednesday with cold and flu-like symptoms. School officials said the symptoms were mostly fever, cough and headache.
Although the County reports daily several hundred COVID-19 cases, and is already seeing a rapid and early start to flu season, it is too early to determine the cause of the suspected outbreak at Patrick Henry High School as test results are pending.
So far, no hospitalizations have been linked to the illness investigation at Patrick Henry High School. Local hospitals, including Rady Children’s Hospital, have noted a recent increase in emergency room visits due to flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. The County is evaluating the possibility of other schools reporting similar outbreaks.
“We are coordinating with local school districts and are checking with other school campuses to try and figure out why so many students have been affected so suddenly,” said Cameron Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “Unfortunately, we anticipated this would be a rough influenza season, and alongside COVID-19 other respiratory viruses are also making a rapid comeback. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get your flu and COVID-19 shots to gain the extra protections afforded by the vaccines.”
A total of 304 lab-confirmed influenza cases were reported last week, bringing the total for the season that started on July 3 to 1,082. At the same time last year, the County had reported only 200 influenza cases.
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