WALTON, Ky. (WKRC) – The Northern Kentucky Health Department says a chickenpox outbreak at a Walton school has spread to 32 students so far.
The outbreak happened at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy. The health department said a majority of the students affected were not fully immunized. The health department is reaching out to the community so that anyone not vaccinated against chickenpox can go get their immunizations.
“Although we have been working with the school to contain the illnesses since February, the Health Department has recently seen a concerning increase in the number of infected students at the school which has prompted us to take further control measures at the school and to make the public aware that chickenpox may be in the community,” said Dr. Lynne Saddler, the district director of health at the Northern Kentucky Health Department.
Chickenpox, or varicella, is an illness that can cause a blister-like rash, fever, fatigue and itching. It can last anywhere from five to seven days and is easily spread from person to person.
The virus can be especially dangerous to infants, those who are pregnant and anyone with a weakened immune system, causing potentially life-threatening complications. The health department says the best way to prevent it is to get the vaccination.
Activities at the school have been canceled and will be rescheduled to lower the risk of spreading the virus further. Any student without proof of vaccination will not be allowed to attend school until three weeks after the onset of symptoms in the last affected student or staff member.