Flu season starts early in Valley schools

Knupp said this flu season is already winding up, and she believes part of that may be a result of weakened immune systems.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 4:33 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Schools across the Shenandoah Valley are seeing an early rise in flu and respiratory illness cases.

Medical professionals said this influx of cases normally comes in the later fall or winter. Angela Knupp, Student Health Services worker with Harrisonburg City Schools, said if you’re sick, get tested for COVID-19 and the flu.

If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Knupp said this flu season is already winding up, and she believes part of that may be a result of weakened immune systems.

“Once that mask mandate was lifted we knew probably when this winter season came we’d see an uptick of cold, flu strep, just respiratory illnesses in general. I didn’t expect it to be this early,” Knupp said.

Now is a very important time for students to remember they shouldn’t be sharing drinks with friends, and they should be washing their hands regularly. Even though COVID is often the main concern, Knupp said it’s important to get tested for the flu too.

“I think a lot of kids are doing COVID tests at home, and that COVID test is negative, and the kids are coming to school but they’re actually coming to school as flu positive, and I think that is also affecting our numbers,” said Knupp.

Knupp said she wonders if there are truly more flu cases right now or if everyone is more aware of respiratory symptoms since the pandemic.