OCEANSIDE–A person who was ill with chickenpox (varicella) visited the North Coastal Family Resource Center in Oceanside on December 2, 2013 and may have exposed others to the disease, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reported today.
The center is located at 1315 Union Plaza Court. Anyone who was present in the waiting area of the facility from 2 pm to 3:30 pm on that date may have been exposed to the disease.
“Chickenpox is preventable. Exposed individuals who have not had two doses of varicella vaccine, or who have not had chickenpox, should contact their medical provider for an evaluation,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Your doctor may recommend that you receive a dose of varicella vaccine which can often prevent getting chickenpox or minimize the severity of symptoms if you do become ill.”
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella virus. It is easily spread by coughing, sneezing or contact with chickenpox blisters. Vaccination can prevent the spread of the disease and associated complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for all people one year of age and older who have no evidence of immunity for the disease. Ninety-nine percent of people develop immunity after two doses.
Symptoms of chickenpox include a skin rash of blister-like lesions, covering the body but usually more concentrated on the face, scalp, and trunk. The risk of complications increases after puberty and includes bacterial infection of skin lesions, dehydration and pneumonia.
Most, but not all, infected individuals have fever, which develops just before or when the rash appears. If exposed, fully vaccinated persons are well protected and do not become ill, though some may get a milder illness, with less severe rash (sometimes involving only a few red bumps that look similar to insect bites) and mild or no fever. The incubation period is from 14-16 days from exposure, with a range of 10-21 days. The illness lasts about 5-10 days.
Cor more information on chickenpox and immunizations in general, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch at 619-692-8661, or visit the website at www.sdiz.org.