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November 2, 2012

Chickenpox outbreak reaches countywide level

TERRE HAUTE — Today, Health Commissioner, Enrico I. Garcia MD declared a chickenpox outbreak in Vigo County.

An outbreak is declared when cases of the disease occur in a community, region or particular population at a rate clearly in excess of what is normally expected.

As of Thursday, there have been 57 known cases of chickenpox in Vigo County in recent weeks. “This is more cases of chickenpox in a given time for a given population and therefore cause to declare an outbreak,” a Vigo County Health Department news release stated.

In 2009, there were 22 cases in Vigo County; in 2010, four cases; 2011, one case; and so far this year, 57 cases.

The Vigo County Health Department and Vigo County School Corp. will conduct shot clinics at Sarah Scott Middle School next Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, with times yet to be established.

The shot clinics will target Vigo County children who are not optimally immunized for chickenpox. This includes students currently enrolled in school, parochial and private schools, and home-schooled children. Also targeted are children older than one year of age, but not yet enrolled in school. This includes children in  pre-k and daycares.

The Vigo County School Corp. says there are 421 students who are either under-vaccinated or lack documentation. Most students already have the required single dose for school immunization requirements, but need a second dose due to the outbreak. According to Census data, there are about 5,000 children under the age of 6 and older than 1 year.

More information is expected to be released on Monday.

See the Tribune-Star and visit www.tribstar.com for more details on the outbreak.

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