January 8, 2013

A case of chickenpox (also called varicella) have been identified at Hillcrest Academy. If your child has received the varicella vaccine, he/she is much less likely to get chickenpox. Vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing disease, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms of chickenpox.
 
Chickenpox usually develops about two weeks after an exposure in persons who are not immune to chickenpox.  Symptoms include low-grade fever and tiredness, followed by a blister-like rash in which new blisters develop in crops.  When chickenpox occurs in vaccinated children, the illness is usually very mild. Children who have been vaccinated may have fewer spots that do not develop into blister-like lesions. Children with typical or mild chickenpox may be infectious to others until all blister-like lesions have formed scabs, and no lesions are developing.  All children who develop chickenpox, including those who have been vaccinated, should stay home during this time to avoid spreading the disease to others.
 
Please determine whether or not your child is susceptible to chickenpox. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that your child receive the chickenpox vaccine at this time.  If your child has already received the first dose of chickenpox vaccine, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends they receive a second dose (provided their first dose was given more than 3 months ago).  Please contact your healthcare provider for information on vaccinating your child.  
 
Pregnant women who are not immune to chickenpox and persons with weakened immune systems are especially cautioned to contact their health care provider; varicella immune globulin may be administered to help prevent disease in persons who have been exposed and who cannot receive varicella vaccine.

Please view this document for more information on Chickenpox. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Hillcrest Academy or the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414.

Sincerely,

Jeff Isaac

Hillcrest Academy

218-739-3371

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