Chickenpox (Varicella)

Collin County Health Care Services has issued a health advisory for UT Dallas students, faculty and staff because of the presence of varicella (chickenpox) on campus. There are fewer than five individuals who have currently tested positive and/or shown signs of varicella. For the cases involved, they have been advised to stay home from work and/or school and to not have any outside contact during this period.

Steps have been taken to sanitize all common areas with which the affected individuals came into contact, including transportation and classrooms.

Varicella is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a blister-like rash, itching, fever and fatigue. The virus spreads in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching or breathing in aerosolized virus from varicella lesions. A person with varicella is contagious from 1-2 days before rash onset until the lesions have crusted. It takes from 10-21 days after exposure to the virus for someone to develop varicella. Illness usually lasts about 5-10 days. About 90 percent of susceptible close contacts will get varicella after exposure to persons with disease.

Adults are at risk for more severe disease and have a higher incidence of complications. Recovery from primary varicella infection usually provides immunity for life. In otherwise healthy people, a second occurrence of varicella is uncommon and usually occurs in people who are immunocompromised.

Pregnant, unvaccinated, immunocompromised or individuals who experience or have experienced varicella symptoms, should contact their healthcare provider.

For more information please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/about/overview.html

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the UTD Student Health Center at 972.883.2747 or Collin County Health Care Services at 972.548.5524.

 

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