Chickenpox Common Among
Children Despite Vaccine
The highly contagious varicella-zoster virus
(VZV), commonly known as chickenpox,
often affects children under age 12 and sometimes even after they have been
vaccinated against the disease, Oneida County Health Department officials
warned today following reports of an outbreak in
chickenpox is a mild illness that causes an itchy rash that looks like
blisters usually showing up on the abdomen or back then spreading all over
the body and sometimes accompanied by flu-like symptoms, said
Nicholas A. DeRosa, Director of Health.
usually subside without treatment, but because the infection is highly
contagious, an infected child should stay home and rest until the symptoms
Chickenpox is contagious from
about 2 days before the rash appears and lasts until all the blisters are
crusted over. Children infected
with chickenpox should be kept out of school until all blisters have dried,
usually about a week. If a
parent is unsure about whether a child is ready to return to school he/she
should consult their physician.
DeRosa says that in rare cases involving infants, teens and adults
with weakened immune systems the illness could become more severe resulting
in bacterial infections in the skin, lungs, bones, joints and brain
(encephalitis). He urged parents
of children who have not been vaccinated to consult their health care
provider about the varicella vaccine.
In order to keep chickenpox from spreading, DeRosa recommends:
Make sure children wash their
hands frequently, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom.
Keep an infected child away
from siblings as much as possible.
Some ways of dealing
with the symptoms of chickenpox are:
While most chickenpox
infections require no special medical treatment DeRosa said you should
consult a physician if your child:
The Oneida County Health Department recommends you call your
healthcare provider if you think your child has chickenpox, or if youre
concerned about possible complications.
A physician can guide you in watching for complications and in
choosing medication to relieve the symptoms.
For more information on chickenpox call the Oneida County Health Department at 798-6400 or visit our website at ocgov.net then click on Health Department and then Health Information.