Media Release

Health Department Issues Warning of Increase in Chicken Pox Cases

Friday, March 28, 2008 1:00 AM

 10:06 a.m.

ALACHUA COUNTY - Alachua County Health Department officials today want to warn residents and visitors about an increase in cases of chicken pox.  "Chicken pox is now a vaccine preventable disease" states Sherry Windham, Immunizations Program Manager. 
Since mid February, ten cases of chicken pox, known as Varicella, have been reported to the Alachua County Health Department.  Most of the cases were seen in elementary school aged children, although the ages have ranged from a 1 year old to 42 years old.    Chicken pox is a rash illness with fever.  People who have not previously had the disease or have had one dose of vaccine and who are in close contact with a person with chicken pox may be at risk.  Most children currently in public schools have one dose of vaccine.  Children entering kindergarten in Fall 2008 are required to have two doses of the vaccine.  An additional dose of vaccine is recommended for people with only one dose of vaccine.
Varicella is contagious one to two days prior to onset of rash and until the rash is crusted over and dry.  Varicella can be spread from respiratory tract secretions or by direct contact with fluid from the pox.      
For more information, contact Health Department official Sherry Windham at 352-334-7900 ext. 7951. 



  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

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