GRANT COUNTY, WA – The Grant County Health Officer has issued an alert after a cluster of chickenpox cases have been confirmed in Grant County.
Three schools affected, Park Orchard Elementary, North Elementary and Longview Elementary. Dr. Alexander Brzezny says the the potential for spreading chickenpox to other schools is high. There was also an exposure last week at the Source of Life Church.
With confirmation of the chickenpox virus in Grant County, officials are advising individuals to check both their own and their children’s vaccination status and verify that they are up-to-date with the varicella vaccine.
Chickenpox is a contagious vaccine-preventable disease that can have serious complications (including death), especially for those who are immune compromised or have other health conditions. Infection during pregnancy can cause serious complications for the unborn child. An individual with chickenpox generally presents with a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. Persons with chickenpox are contagious for 1-2 days before the rash appears and continue to be contagious until all the blisters are crusted over, usually in 4-7 days after rash onset.
Chickenpox is spread to others by direct person-to-person contact, by coughing, sneezing, or spraying saliva while talking or indirectly through articles freshly soiled by discharges from the infected person’s lesions. The scabs themselves are not considered infectious.
Grant County Health District issued a press release