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Published On: Sat, Dec 8th, 2012

Topeka school district issues chickenpox alert

Reports of several confirmed and suspected chickenpox cases has prompted the Seaman School District, USD #345 in Topeka, KS to issue a chickenpox alert Friday to parents of students at the affected schools.

Topeka news source, wibw.com reports the cases have occurred at Seaman Middle School (5620 NW Topeka Blvd), Seaman High School (4850 NW Rochester Rd), and Elmont Elementary School (6432 NW Elmont Rd).

The school district’s alert spells out the case for exclusion from school:

Any exposed student who has NOT been vaccinated for chickenpox or has NOT had the disease is considered susceptible (unprotected) and may develop and spread chickenpox to other susceptible persons, therefore will be EXCLUDED from school for 21 days from the onset of reported disease.

If you suspect your child is ill with chickenpox, please inform the school and keep your child at home, requests the school district.

Image/CDC

Chickenpox is a common, usually benign childhood disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a member of the herpes family. This virus causes two distinct 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 by contact with the vesicle secretions from shingles.

The disease is characterized by fever and a red, itchy skin rash of that usually starts on the abdomen, back or face and then spreads to nearly all parts of the body. The rash begins as small red bumps that appear as pimples or insect bites. They then develop into thin-walled blisters that are filled with clear fluid which collapse on puncture. The blisters then breaks, crusts over, and leaves dry brown scabs.

The chickenpox lesions may be present in several stages of maturity and are more abundant on covered skin rather than exposed. Lesions may also be found in the mouth, upper respiratory tract and genitals.

Chickenpox is contagious from 1-2 days before the rash forms and continues until all the lesions are crusted over (usually about 5 days).

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

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

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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