COLLEGE PLACE, Washington – A letter to parents and guardians of students at Rogers Adventist School (RAS) was sent out Thursday night notifying them of a single potential case of chickenpox.
“Because of your child’s possible exposure, the (Walla Walla County) health department recommends that you watch your child for the signs and symptoms of the disease. If the school experiences an outbreak of chickenpox, students who are not vaccinated may be excluded from school,” said RAS Principal Holley Bryant,
Chickenpox (varicella) is an acute viral illness characterized by a rapid onset of fever, fatigue, and a generalized eruption of the skin. Each lesion begins as a small dewdrop-like blister that scabs over in 3 to 4 days. These lesions tend to be more abundant on the trunk than on the arms and legs. Lesions in the eyes and mouth may also occur.
According to health officials, the best way to prevent your child from catching chickenpox is through vaccination. A vaccine is available and is 80 to 85% effective against infection and more than 95% effective against severe disease. The Walla Walla County Department of Community Health can provide information on local medical clinics that can provide vaccinations.
Frequent handwashing is the most important technique for preventing the transmission of disease. Proper hand washing requires the use of soap and water and vigorous washing under a stream of temperate (warm) water. Dry with single use disposable towels.
Parents and guardians who suspect their child is ill with the chickenpox are asked to inform the RAS front desk and keep your child home until all of the chickenpox lesions have crusted over.