By Lauren Westmoreland
On Wednesday, March 21, a notice was released by Portola Jr./Sr. High School regarding chickenpox within the community.
According to the statement by Emilee Pruitt, BSN RN and school nurse at Portola High, “It has come to our attention that there have been cases of chickenpox in our community. Chickenpox is a highly communicable disease, which is contagious shortly before [one to two days usually, but possibly up to five days] the rash develops and for the period during which the person has moist and recurring blisters.
Pruitt wrote, “It is no longer considered contagious after all blisters have dried and scabbed over and there are no new blisters [usually five to six days]. There may be a period of up to 21 days from the time of exposure during which a person could ‘come down’ with chickenpox, but commonly from 14 to 16 days.”
Children who have had the chickenpox vaccine may occasionally have a “mild” case of the disease, which typically lasts one to four days.
Pruitt asks those with concerns to please contact their health care provider if there should be questions about susceptible family members, such as unimmunized children, immunodeficient individuals and adults not previously infected, as well as for home care instructions.
“It is not ordinarily necessary to take your child to the clinic or emergency room unless there are severe symptoms such as listlessness or inability to take fluids,” Pruitt noted. “If this occurs, call first so they can prepare and avoid contact with susceptible persons in their care.”