Parents of children in local elementary schools have received a letter advising them of a case of Chicken Pox. The letter is from Northern Health and was distributed this week to parents.
Andrew Gray, the region’s Medical Health Officer says one school has seen 14 cases. However he refuses term the situation as an outbreak. “It’s what we call an endemic disease. There’s always from Varicella (chicken pox) out there. We heard about a few more cases than usual in one school. That raised some concerns, sort of a cluster of cases.”
Chicken Pox is a illness that causes an itchy rash and red spots or blisters. It is usually a mild illness for children however it can be more serious for newborns, teens, adults and pregnant women. Most children receive the chicken pox vaccine at a young age.
Northern Health says anyone exposed to chicken pox who is at a high risk and unsure about their immunity should contact their doctor or the Prince George Health Unit (250 565-7311) immediately. It says the first symptoms of chicken pox are often a fever, headaches or sore throats. It suggests a person who develops signs of chicken pox should not go to work, school or daycare until five days after the onset of the rash or once all lesions have crusted over, whichever is later.
Children who are up to date with their immunizations are normally protected from chicken pox, but in some cases they can still get a milder form of the disease.