Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox (Varicella) Exposure Advisory - April 26, 2016

A student at SF State has been diagnosed with chickenpox. The student may have exposed students, faculty and staff to chickenpox between April 23 and April 26, 2016. 

 

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.

 

Locations on campus where a SF State student, faculty or staff member may have been exposed to chickenpox:

  • Class #1:  Phil 110-05 on Monday, April 25th, 2016 @ 9:10 AM - 10 AM.
  • Student Health Services - April 26, 2016 (PM)

 

You are highly unlikely to develop symptoms or infect others if you have had chickenpox or if you have had 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine. 

 

If you are not immune and you were exposed you might get chickenpox with the rash starting 10 to 21 days (May 3rd through May 17th, 2016) after your exposure.

 

Find out if you are at higher risk for complications from chickenpox.

 

If you were exposed Student Health Services recommends that you get the chickenpox vaccine as soon as possible if:

  • You have not received 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine and
  • You have never had chickenpox or shingles (herpes zoster), and
  • You were born after 1980, and
  • You are not immune compromised or pregnant.

 

Chickenpox (Varicella) Facts

Who is at Higher Risk for Complications from Chickenpox (Varicella)?

It is important to contact your medical provider if you were exposed to chickenpox and are:

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

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What is Chickenpox (Varicella)?

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and is usually mild. Chickenpox can be severe in infants, adults, and persons with weakened immune systems.

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How Do I Know if I Have Chickenpox (Varicella)?

Persons with chickenpox will have:

  • A fever;
  • Severe tiredness;
  • Headaches; and/or
  • An ichy rash that turns into fluid-filled blisters that will scab after 4-5 days;

An infected person can have anywhere from a few blisters to more than 500.

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How Does Chickenpox (Varicella) Spread?

Chickenpox can spread 1-2 days (up to 5 days) before the rash appears and until all the blisters have formed scabs. Scabs usually form 5 days after the blisters appear.

 

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

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What Should I Do if I Think I Have Chickenpox (Varicella)?

If you develop symptoms of chickenpox:

  • Contact your healthcare provider.
  • Stay isolated at home.
  • Do not go to school or work until all the blisters have crusted over.
  • Wear a face mask if you need to go to a healthcare provider.
  • Avoid contact with persons who are pregnant, children less than 1 year old, and persons who are immune compromised.

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Who Should Get the Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine?

Student Health Services recommends that you get the chickenpox vaccine if:

  • You have not received 2 doses of the chickenpox vaccine and
  • You have never had chickenpox or shingles (herpes zoster), and
  • You were born after 1980, and
  • You are not immune compromised or pregnant.

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