We have confirmed cases of chickenpox affecting some students at our school. Chickenpox is a highly infectious but usually mild disease caused by varicella-zoster virus. The virus is spread either by direct contact with the rash, or by droplets expelled into the air through coughing or sneezing. In general, you must either be living in the same house, or play indoors in close face-to-face contact for more than 5 minutes, or have close face-to-face or physical contact outdoors in order to catch the illness.
If your child develops the following signs and symptoms, please consult your doctor, and let Jennifer Anunsacion - our school nurse - know the outcome.
Chicken pox is characterized by a red, itchy rash, which blisters and then crusts over within two weeks. Mild flu-like symptoms are usually present before the appearance of the rash, and may cause fever, body aches, headache, nausea and loss of appetite. It starts off with a few red spots or bumps (often mistaken for insect bites). The next day many more bumps will appear, and the first bumps will have turned into blisters. On the third day, more new bumps will appear, and the second-day bumps will start to blister. On day 4 the original blisters will start to crust over. Usually by day 5, no new bumps will appear, and more blisters will crust over. By day 7, most or all of the blisters will be crusted over.
The incubation period (the time from when your child is exposed to the time he/she breaks out in spots) is generally 14 days. It can be as early as 7 days and as long as 21 days. If three weeks pass from your child’s exposure, then he/she is in the clear. Due to the contagious nature of this illness, students with chickenpox, or suspected chickenpox, should not return to school until all sores have crusted over. He or she should also avoid contact with others who might be at a high risk of infection, such as newborn babies and people with a weak immune system.
Please contact Nurse Jennifer if you have further questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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