Chickenpox outbreak grows at NKY school

Chickenpox outbreak grows at NKY school
Chickenpox blisters on a 5-year-old boy. (Source: Jonny McCullagh/Wikimedia)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Northern Kentucky Health Department said students at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy are experiencing an outbreak of an illness characterized by a blister-like rash presumed to be chickenpox.

There are currently 32 cases at the school.

Health officials said chickenpox is a vaccine-preventable illness.

“Although we have been working with the school to contain the illnesses since February, the Health Department has recently seen a concerning increase in the number of infected students at the school which has prompted us to take further control measures at the school and to make the public aware that chickenpox may be in the community," District Director of Health Dr. Lynne Saddler said in a news release.

As a result, officials said to prevent further spread of illness, they instructed that all students without proof of vaccination or proof of immunity against chickenpox will not be allowed to attend school until 21 days after the onset of rash for the last student or staff member.

Also, all school events and extracurricular activities involving other schools or the public will be cancelled during that time.

Chickenpox is easily passed from one person to another through the air by coughing or sneezing or through the fluid from a blister of a person who has chickenpox.

Chickenpox is especially dangerous for infants and anyone who is pregnant or has a weakened immune system. Complications from chickenpox can include secondary infections such as bacterial skin infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, Reye’s syndrome, sepsis and even death.

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