March 14, 2020
An employee in our school buildings has contracted Herpes Zoster, otherwise known as shingles, and your child may have been exposed. The virus that causes shingles may cause chickenpox in those individuals who have never had chickenpox and in those who have not been immunized against chickenpox. Individuals with compromised immune systems are also at a greater risk of contracting chickenpox from someone who has shingles and has not been properly protected against chickenpox.
A person must have had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine in the past in order to develop shingles. Shingles is a re-activation of the varicella-zoster virus. After having chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, the virus remains in a dormant state within the body but can reactivate later in life at any time. Contact with an individual infected with shingles does not cause another person’s dormant virus to reactivate, but the exposure or contact may cause chickenpox in someone who has not had it before or who has not been immunized against chickenpox.
For his/her protection, if your child is immunocompromised (i.e. HIV, cancer, leukemia, organ transplant, etc.), contact your child’s physician immediately to report the exposure and ask for further guidance.
Children who have not been vaccinated for religious, moral, or medical reasons may be at increased risk for contracting chickenpox as well.
If you have any questions regarding this notification, please contact your primary care physician.