HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Schools in Henrico are on high alert due to an outbreak of the flu.
The school system sent out a letter Wednesday to parents saying that children in multiple schools are sick.
Within the last few weeks, there has been a spike in the number of people with flu-like symptoms.
The Health Department says that some of the kids that have come down with the flu actually got the vaccine that should have prevented against the virus.
“The CDC has said that we do expect that this flu season will most likely be more severe,” Danny Avula of the Richmond City Health District told 8News.
The reason? This year’s flu vaccine is not as effective against the current strain of the influenza virus because the virus has mutated, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an advisory to doctors.
“We are seeing slightly different strains of the flu that are circulating that aren’t as well covered by the flu vaccine,” Avula said. ” A new flu vaccine has to be made every year because the flu virus changes every year.”
Henrico County is not alone, either.
In Petersburg, more than 30 students have reported flu-like symptoms in the past few weeks. Chesterfield has also seen a spike in kids out sick.
Even so, health officials say that you should still get the vaccine.
“Definitely still get the flu vaccine because it will at least protect against a good portion of the circulating flu viruses. But also it comes back to those basic messages, if you are sick, stay home.”
Looking for a place to get your flu shot? Click here to find somewhere offering vaccines near you.