LA FERIA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A huge number of students and teachers from La Feria High School have been out sick due to the flu.

School administrators say these cases have caught them off guard because flu season has not even started just yet.

“We have gotten reports that our students have been tested and it’s not COVID but it’s the flu at this time,” Cindy Torres, La Feria Independent School District Superintendent said.

Staff members are back to deep sanitizing cleaning desks, chairs and much more after about 200 students and 26 staff members have been ill with the flu.

This is something school district leaders did not see coming.

“We expect this later on in the year, we didn’t expect this in September,” Torres said.

Too many students out can hurt the school’s funding.

“We do have to worry about attendance because of funding again Texas is 1 of 6 states in the United States that funds on ADA and not enrollment and so that is something that we hope our legislators look at,” Torres said.

Cameron County Nurse practitioner Margie Smith says a typical flu season starts in October and can run until May.

Smith says we could see a big impact in flu cases this year so it’s important to stay proactive.

“Thousands of people can get hospitalized due to these issues from flu thousands of people die every year because of the flu it is very important that the number one way to prevent this is to get vaccinated,” Smith said.

Leaders advise that if you’re sick, stay home so others won’t fall ill.

“We want the students in class every single day but of you have fever don’t come to school because then we’re just spreading it even further,” Torres said.

The district says they will have a flu clinic for teachers next week and are looking closely in having an additional flu immunization available for students too.