STOWE PA – A student at the Pottsgrove School District’s West Pottsgrove Elementary School has contacted chicken pox, and other children may have been exposed to the illness, Principal Terri Koehler warned parents Thursday (May 31, 2012) in an e-mail.
“Because the virus that causes chickenpox spreads easily, exposed children who have never had the vaccine or the disease will most likely” get it, Koehler’s message cautioned. “Although chickenpox is not usually a serious illness, it can cause severe complications such as pneumonia, and can even result in death. Even a relatively mild illness can result in the loss of a week or more of class time for a child,” she added.
State law requires that children attending school be protected against chickenpox with two doses of varicella vaccine, Koehler noted. Those already vaccinated, as well as students wo receive vaccinations within 5 days of exposure are less likely to contract the disease, she wrote. It is possible that, for religious or other reasons, some children may not be vaccinated.
Children who develop chickenpox, even if previously vaccinated, should be kept from attending school “until the rash has scabbed over,” Koehler said.
The outbreak of the virus has already been reported to the Montgomery County Health Department, she said. It is offering guidance to parents who need more information; call 610-278-5117.
Photo from the Pottsgrove School District