SOUTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) – A kindergartner at the William E. Norris School in Southampton has contracted Varicella, also known as chickenpox.
According to Nurse Director Stephanie Faas of the Hampshire Regional School District, the child is out of school with chickenpox until further notice and a letter has been sent home to all parents.
Faas said the school recommends keeping in eye on your children for any rash and to contact their doctor if they see symptoms of chickenpox.
Varicella is a disease caused by a virus that is spread from person to person. It causes an itchy rash that looks like tiny blisters or little red dots. The rash usually starts on the face, stomach, chest or back and spreads to other parts of the body. A mild fever, tiredness, and slight discomfort can come from the rash. The disease is spread by an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or talks around another person. A person can also be infected by touching the rash.
According to the Center for Disease Control, for most people, getting chickenpox once means never getting it again. It is most common in children under 15 years-old. Children should be vaccinated when they are 12-15 months old and again at four to six years to prevent them from getting the disease.
Routine vaccination is recommended by the CDC. In the meantime, health officials will be keeping a close eye on the Norris School.
“We’re really hopeful that this is an isolated incident and we don’t have any more confirmed cases and we will continue to monitor the school closely.”-Stephanie Faas, Nurse Director of Hampshire Regional School District
The chickenpox vaccine became available in the United States in 1995.