Chicken Pox (Varicella)
Varicella is a respiratory virus most commonly known as chicken pox. This virus is transmitted by secretions through coughing and sneezing. It is classified as a communicable disease, and government health regulations require that we take the following precautions to prevent the spread of the disease if identified at school.
- A student with an undiagnosed skin rash must not come to school
- If a health care provider confirms varicella, please notify the school
- A child diagnosed with varicella cannot return to school until the lesions have crusted over
According to the Center for Disease Control, chicken pox or varicella causes a red, itchy rash on the skin that usually appears first on the abdomen or back and face, and then spreads to almost everywhere else on the body. Children who have been vaccinated with only one dose of the chicken pox vaccine can still get chicken pox if they are exposed, but their disease is usually mild. Vaccinated persons who get chicken pox generally have fewer than 50 spots or bumps, which may resemble bug bites more than typical, fluid filled chicken pox blisters. The incubation period for chicken pox is 7-14 days. Children are contagious 1-2 days prior to the rash developing and remain contagious until all the spots are crusted.If you would like to read more about varicella, please refer to the website of the Centers for Disease Control.