Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox (Varicella) Exposure Advisory - Feb 1, 2017

You may have come in contact with a person with chickenpox (varicella) between January 30th and February 1st, 2017.

The areas of the campus where you may have been exposed are:

  • Class #1: CHEM 115 lecture in SCI 201 on Monday, January 30th, 2017 @ 9:10 am
  • Class #2: ENG 210 in HUM 288 on Monday, January 30th, 2017 @ 2:10 pm
  • Class #3: CHEN 115 workshop in SCI 273 on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 @ 8:10 am
  • Class #4: HTM 560 in BUS 107 on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 at 2:10 pm
  • Student Health Services – Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 (AM)

If you have not had chickenpox or 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine--you may be at risk. Chickenpox can be spread 1-2 days (up to 5 days) before the rash appears. If you think you've been exposed, contact your doctor right away.

For more information on chickenpox & varicella vaccine, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html

Contact your medical provider and tell them you were exposed to chickenpox if you are:

  • Immune compromised
  • Pregnant
  • A parent/guardian of a child less than 1 year old

If you are not immune and you were exposed you might get chickenpox with the rash starting 10 to 21 days after your exposure (February 1, 2017 through February 22, 2017). 

  • Symptoms (fever, tiredness, headaches, and a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that scab after several days) could begin at any time through February 22, 2017.
  • From today through February 22, 2017 please avoid contact with pregnant women or immune compromised people because you could spread the disease to others even if you do not have any symptoms.

If you do develop symptoms of chickenpox,

  • Contact a healthcare provider.
  • Stay isolated at home.
  • Do not go to daycare, school, or work until all blisters have crusted over (usually 5 days after your onset of symptoms).
  • Wear a face mask if you need to go to a healthcare provider. 

We recommend that you get chickenpox vaccine as soon as possible if:

  • You have not received 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine before AND
  • You have never had chickenpox or shingles diagnosed by a healthcare provider AND
  • You were born after 1980 AND
  • You are not immune compromised or pregnant.

Vaccination and Immunization Clinic

Chickenpox (Varicella) Information
Chickenpox is caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and is usually mild, but it may be severe in infants, adults, and persons with weakened immune systems.

Chickenpox causes an itchy rash that forms blisters that dry and become scabs in 4-5 days. Sometimes a person with chickenpox also has a fever and severe tiredness. 
An infected person may have anywhere from only a few blisters to more than 500 blisters.

Chickenpox can be spread 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs (usually about 5 days after appearance of blisters).

The virus spreads from person to person by direct contact, living in the same household, or possibly being in the same enclosed room for more than 5 minutes to an hour.

Chickenpox can cause more severe health problems in pregnant women, causing stillbirths or birth defects, and can be spread to their babies during childbirth.

Occasionally chickenpox can cause serious, life-threatening illnesses, such as encephalitis or pneumonia, especially in adults.

Please address any communications for the SHS to Teresa Rebeiro MD (415) 338-2337 trebeiro@sfsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Teresa Rebeiro, MD
Director, Student Health Services