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Home / Health / The onset of chickenpox in the Washington School requires the exclusion of non-immunity

The onset of chickenpox in the Washington School requires the exclusion of non-immunity



Clark County (WA) officials released a health alert for a Battle Ground school town Thursday over a chickenpox outbreak.

  Clark County, Washington Image / David Benbennick
Clark County, Washington
Image / David Benbennick

The school involved, Daybreak Primary School, has seen five cases of chickenpox – The first onset of the disease was the 13th. October. The last known possible exposure of Daybreak Primary School was October 17

Health workers require the exclusion of Daybreak Primary School students and staff who can not provide documented evidence of immunity. The expulsion starts on Monday, October 22nd and ends on Monday, November 12th. If further chickenpox cases are detected, the exclusion can be extended.

Local media report that 38 unvaccinated students are likely to be kept away from school during this period

In accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the documented evidence of chickenpox immunity is defined as follows:

• Anyone born in the US before 1980.

• Serological test results showing varicella immunity.

• Documented vendor-diagnosed history of previous chickenpox disease.

• Documentation that the student or staff has received at least 1 dose of a vaccine containing varicella. The previously reported earlier chickenpox disease does not meet the requirements for immunity. Once proof of immunity has been provided to the school, excluded students and staff may resume.

  This pustulovesicular rash represents a generalized herpes outbreak due to the causative agent of varicella zoster virus (VZV) / CDC
This pustulovesicular rash represents a generalized herpes outbreak due to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) pathogen / CDC

Chickenpox is caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a member of the herpes family. This virus causes two different diseases; Varicella (chickenpox) is the primary infection and later, when VSV reactivates, herpes zoster (shingles).

Chickenpox is highly contagious and is spread by coughing and sneezing, by direct contact and by aerosolization of the virus from skin lesions. You can also get it from shingles through contact with the vesicle secretions.

The disease is characterized by fever and a red, itchy rash that usually begins on the stomach, back or face and then spreads to almost all parts of the body body. The rash begins as small red bumps that appear as pimples or insect bites. They then develop into thin-walled bubbles that are filled with a clear fluid that collapse during a puncture. The bubbles then break, crust over, leaving dry brown crusts.

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The chickenpox lesions may be present at various stages of maturity and are more likely to be exposed than on exposed skin. Lesions can also be found in the mouth, upper respiratory tract and genitals.

Chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash and continues until all lesions are encrusted (usually about 5 days)

Illness is more severe in adults than in children. Complications of chickenpox are rare, but include pneumonia, encephalitis, and secondary bacterial infections.

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Infection with this virus usually gives lifelong immunity, although second attacks have been documented in immunocompromised individuals. The viral infection remains latent and the disease can recur years later as shingles.

A vaccine was approved in 1995 to prevent this disease in children. Doctors recommend that children receive the chickenpox vaccine after 12 to 15 months booster at 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine effectively prevents mild infection in up to 85% of children and severe forms in up to 95% of children. Some children who are vaccinated still get chickenpox, but with much milder symptoms.

Some people should not be vaccinated against chickenpox; especially pregnant women. They should wait until the vaccine is given postpartum, or women should not become pregnant until 1-3 months after vaccination

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For Children older than 13 years and those who have never had chickenpox should administer the chickenpox vaccine in two doses at least 28 days apart.

Also, those who have a suppressed immune system due to illness (HIV / AIDS). or treatment (cancer treatment or steroids) should be discussed with your doctor prior to immunization.


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