News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

November 20, 2012

Chickenpox outbreak: 100 cases in Vigo County

Growing number of cases has caught attention of Centers for Disease Control

TERRE HAUTE — Vigo County’s chickenpox outbreak continues to grow, with the health department reporting that as of Friday, the county has had more than 100 confirmed cases of varicella (chickenpox).

The outbreak even has the attention of the Centers for Disease Control, said Joni Wise, Vigo County health department administrator.

As a result of the growing outbreak, the county health department is “strongly recommending” optimal vaccination for children over the age of 12 months “as a specific control measure for chickenpox.”

During an outbreak, a second dose is recommended and can be administered 28 days following the first dose to increase levels of immunity and curtail spread of disease.

“Children over the age of 12 months need to be optimally immunized against chickenpox,” states a health department news release.

Another control measure is restriction of activities.

If one child gets chickenpox at a pre-school or a licensed/unlicensed day care, all other children who have not previously received their second vaccination can be excluded for 21 days of the diagnosed case, according to the news release.

Wise said the health department is strongly recommending those measures, including optimal immunization of children over 12 months and exclusion of under-vaccinated young children if a child care/day care facility has one case of chickenpox.

But she also adds, there “is no way to police it.”

Whereas the Vigo County School Corp. has copies of all student immunization records, “we don’t have any way to do that with” day care facilities, Wise said.

She believes child care and day care programs are “doing the right things, that is, sending children home if they have the appearance of chickenpox. … No day care provider wants an outbreak of anything” in their program.

“That’s such a vulnerable population,” Wise said.

If the health department receives reports and becomes aware of chickenpox “activity” at a child care setting, it will work with the facility to address the problem, she said.

The county has been consulting with the state, Wise said.

Complicating matters, health officials believe the chickenpox affecting Vigo County students is a “break-through” virus, Wise has said previously. That means the virus is slightly different from a traditional “wild type” chickenpox virus and can even affect people who have been immunized against the disease. It has a slightly different rash.

When the outbreak was first declared, many of those identified with chickenpox had two “valid” doses of  chickenpox vaccine, normally considered enough for immunity.

Some area doctors were not aware they were seeing cases of chickenpox, and as a result, they sent kids back to school with the disease. The county health department worked with the state to develop a letter to send to local doctors to alert them, she said.

Also, some doctors are reluctant to give young children a second dose of the vaccination, Wise said. “That has been a challenge,”

she said.

When contacted for comment late Monday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent an email response, provided by Jeanette St. Pierre, with the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

“The Indiana Health Department is conducting the disease investigation. CDC is helping by answering questions, offering laboratory support and providing general guidance to Indiana,” St. Pierre said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later New Tactic Deployed in Search for Plane Scott Brown Announces Run for U.S. Senate in N.H Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Police: Blast in Nigerian Capital Kills 71
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News