The picture shows the rashes caused by a chickenpox infection in an unvaccinated person. The extent to which skin rashes occur is significantly lower in vaccinated individuals. ( CDC )
Dozens of students and staff at a Washington school are advised to stay away from the facility while a chickenpox outbreak continues.
What Are Some Important Things About Chickenpox and Chickenpox Vaccination
At a Southwestern Washington elementary school, scores of students and co-workers were kept away from school facilities for several weeks for a chickenpox outbreak. The Clark County Public Health says that it is specifically school staff as well as children without vaccination or immunity to chickenpox who need to stay on Monday for about three weeks. This is clear from a letter sent to parents last Thursday.
So far, there are five individuals who have been diagnosed with chickenpox, and 38 are expected to be discharged from school because of the outbreak. However, those who have vaccinated before the end of the three weeks, can return to school after presentation of proof of immunity.
Chickenpox is very Contagious
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella zoster virus and is characterized by fever, tiredness, itching and blistering skin rashes. Its characteristic rashes often begin in the abdomen, back and face and then spread to other parts of the body leaving the patient with around 250 to 500 itchy blisters.
It is a very contagious disease that can easily be spread from the patient to anyone who has not had it or anyone who has not been vaccinated. In fact, a person may spread the disease for up to a day or two before the rashes even begin, and until all of it has disappeared or scab has formed.
Transmission is often by droplets when the infected person speaks, and simply by touching the virus in the bladder. After exposure, it takes up to two weeks for a person to get chickenpox.
It is worth noting that even those who have been vaccinated can still transmit the disease to others or still get the disease, but with much milder symptoms [1
For most people, the one-time treatment offers with chickenpox the immunity they need for their entire life. This means that a person who has had chickenpox in the past probably will not get it again. However, some people may still get chickenpox, even though they already have it, though this is a much rarer occurrence. That is, chickenpox can be serious or even life-threatening, especially in infants, adolescents, some adults, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
In fact, a 4-year-old girl died of chickenpox in 2012 due to her weakened immune system.
It is therefore important that children and adults be vaccinated against chickenpox to prevent it or even delay the spread of the disease to members of the community, especially the weaker ones.
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