1,000 Stafford High School students sick after illness outbreak

At least 1,000 Stafford High School students have called out sick this week with flu-like symptoms and stomach pains. 

In a letter sent to parents and staff members on Friday evening, Stafford High School's Principal Allen Hicks states the school is currently experiencing an "illness outbreak."

Several staff members, who have also reported flu-like and gastrointestinal symptoms, have had to miss school days. 

As the school works with the local health department to identify the root cause of the illness, Stafford High School will remain open, and learning will continue, the letter states.  

The students who have missed class will be given time to complete make-up work upon their return to school. 

"We remain very concerned, and will continue to monitor the situation alerting you to any changes we may need to make to our operations," the letter reads. "Our custodial staff will conduct an extensive and thorough wipe down of the entire school this evening. High-touch point area cleaning, along with electrostatic cleaning, will continue throughout the day and evening tomorrow." 

The Rappahannock Area Health District is handling the investigation into the peculiar breakout.

Stafford County Public Schools has canceled all athletics and extracurricular activities through Sunday. 

This is a developing story. Check back with FOX 5 for updates.