The New Hope-Solebury School District today emailed a notice to local parents and guardians informing them that “there has been a case of Varicella (Chicken Pox) diagnosed in a student at the High School.”
The letter went on to describe the illness and its modes of transmission. “Chicken Pox was once a common childhood disease that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV),” reads the notice. “Chicken Pox can be serious, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. It spreads easily from infected people to others who have never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.
“In rare cases, people who are fully immunized may still be at risk for contracting the disease,” continued the school district’s communication. “Chicken Pox spreads in the air through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox Blisters.”
More information about chickenpox can be found at the CDC website.
Today’s NH-S notice also pointed out that, “Chicken Pox is a disease that is reportable to the Bucks County Department of Health. Please speak to your physician if your child develops symptoms of the disease and report a confirmed diagnosis to your school health office as well.”
Pennsylvania law currently requires immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, rubeola, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, chickenpox, whooping cough and meningococcal disease.
If I am a parent of a high school student,how am I to know if my child came in contact with the affected student? Do I keep my fingers crossed hoping there was no contact? Of course the nurse and the administrators will be told, but will the teachers and other staff be told?