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Confirmed case of chickenpox reported at Carmel schools

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CARMEL, Ind. (Jan. 9, 2015)— Carmel Clay Schools confirmed a case of chickenpox at Carmel High School and Clay Middle School.

School officials sent a letter to parents Friday to inform them about the case of varicella.

A student can still get chickenpox even if they have already received the varicella vaccine, warned officials.

The letter sent to parents is below:

Dear Carmel High School/Clay Middle School Parent or Guardian:

There is a confirmed case of varicella (chickenpox) at Carmel High School and Clay Middle School. Students who have received varicella vaccine can still get chickenpox. When previously vaccinated students become ill with varicella it is called “breakthrough” chickenpox.

Indiana law requires that all students in kindergarten through 12th grade have 2 doses of varicella vaccine, unless the child has a history of chickenpox disease. If you are unsure of your child’s vaccination history, you can contact your physician’s office or your school nurse for immunization records. The Indiana State Department of Health has also launched MyVaxIndiana, a web application that allows parents to view their child’s immunization record on-line.

Chickenpox causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness. This disease can be mild or severe. People who develop severe cases of chickenpox may have pneumonia, encephalitis, or systemic bacterial infections. Chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or contact with fluid from the chicken pox blisters.  More information concerning varicella (chicken pox) may be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/index.html

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children who have never had chickenpox get two doses of chickenpox vaccine. The 1st dose should be given at 12-15 months of age, and the 2nd dose at 4-6 years of age. Children may be given the 2nd dose earlier during an outbreak if at least 3 months have passed since the 1st dose.

Unvaccinated people 13 years of age or older who have never had chickenpox disease should get two doses of vaccine spaced at least 28 days apart.

Please contact your physician, your school nurse or me if you have any questions or concerns.

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