Chickenpox Public Health Advisory

Davis Smith, the Medical Director, lets us know that some poor kid here has apparently contracted chickenpox and is being quarantined until they are non-contagious. Chickenpox (varicella) is a contagious disease most of us probably had as kids and is annoying but not a huge deal at a young age, but the older one is when they contract it, the more dangerous and potentially serious it becomes. The Health Center has been talking to the Connecticut Department of Public Health about an appropriate response and has prepared the public health advisory below.

Varicella can be spread in respiratory secretions. The affected student was briefly on and around campus while contagious. Persons who are immune or who were not exposed are not at risk. Most people on campus are not at risk.

Who is at risk?
Persons who are not immune to varicella (defined below)
AND
Were exposed (defined below).

Who is immune?
Persons are considered immune who:
Have a normally functioning immune system defined for these purposes as: not immunocompromised due to pregnancy, disease or medication

AND
Have had chickenpox (varicella)
OR
Have been vaccinated against varicella.

Who may have been exposed?
Exposure in this instance is defined as at the following locations only at the specific times listed.
Mon – Wed am: Clark Hall dormitory 3rd floor
Monday: SC109 10 am – 12:20 pm
RLEN 106 1:10-2:30
FISK 404 2:20-4:00
PAC computer lab from 5-7 pm
Tuesday: SC 58 10:30 am – 11:50 am
ST computer lab from 8pm – 1 am
Wednesday: PAC 107 8:30am – 9:50

What should at risk (non-immune AND exposed) persons do?
We request that all at risk individuals notify the Davison Health Center 860.685.2470 to be entered into an exposure log, to review their risk status, to be offered vaccination which may be protective for this exposure, and for other counseling. Such individuals may also wish to contact their primary care provider.

What if I don’t know whether or not I am immune?
Students unsure of their vaccination status should contact the Health Center (860) 685-2470 or their primary care provider. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider.

Where can I find more information about varicella?
More information is available at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=388264 and at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/list_varicl.htm.

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