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Chickenpow: Not Just a Mild Childhood Rash

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on September 16, 2010 with No Comments

State law requires all students entering grades 6th through 12th must have appropriate documentation of immunity to chickenpox, including a history of disease or two varicella –chickenpox – vaccinations.
Due to an outbreak of varicella, better known as chickenpox, at the Zionsville Community High School, State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. has issued an order on behalf of Boone County Health Officer Herschell Servies Jr, M.D. to exclude students who are not fully vaccinated against varicella from Zionsville Community High School on Monday, Sept. 13.
At this time, 13 cases of varicella have been reported at the school. Based on the school’s immunization records, a few hundred students at the high school do not have the required evidence of immunity.


Students who have not had chickenpox and are not fully immunized are vulnerable to catching and spreading chickenpox and must be excluded to protect them and others,” Larkin said.
“Although we certainly want Indiana students to be up-to-date on all required vaccinations, the exclusion of these students is not being done as a result of non-compliance with the school immunization requirements,” he added. This is an unfortunate reminder of why these vaccines are required.”
Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Although it is commonly associated with children, anyone who has not had chickenpox can become infected. A person with chickenpox is considered contagious from 2 days before the rash appears until the rash has scabbed over.
Chickenpox is usually considered a mild childhood rash illness, but it can cause serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, bacterial infections, and even death. It can cause problems for pregnant women, newborns, teens and adults, and people who have immune system problems that make it hard for the body to fight infection.
Chickenpox is easily spread from person to person by droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with the rash of an infected person during the contagious period can also spread the disease. Having contact with personal articles, such as clothing or bedding, from a person recently infected with chickenpox may also spread the disease.
After you have had chickenpox, you are not likely to get it again. But the virus stays in your body long after you get over the illness. If the virus becomes active again, it can cause a painful viral infection called shingles.
For more information on chickenpox, call your family physician, or visit www.webmd.com.

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