Carmel parents warned about chickenpox

(WISH Photo)

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The Carmel Clay School District is warning parents about the chickenpox.

For the second year in a row, there’s been a case at Carmel High School. A letter sent home says this year there was also a case at Clay Middle School. The letter also warns parents that students who’ve received the chicken pox vaccine can still get the infection.

Dr. Mike Emmons of the St. Vincent Medical Group said, “It protects you from the strains that are most commonly there, but we still have some of those outlying strains that are kind of outside the bell shaped curve that cause problems.”

He said even though the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it has cut down on the number of cases and the severity of the infection.

“They tend to not be sick as long they don’t have as high of a temperature as they would have had without the shots, they don’t get as bad of a rash as they would have before,” Emmons said.

All students, kindergarten through 12th grade, must have two doses of the chickenpox vaccine.

Although most parents comply, there are always a few parents who resist.

“We try to encourage them that it’s not the best choice for the kids and they have to go through special steps to get into school because it is state mandated they get their kinds inoculated unless there’s a religious reason or cultural reason they don’t do it,” said Dr. Emmons.

Preventing the infection can prevent other health complications down the line because once you get chicken pox, you’re stuck with it.

“Once you have it, it never goes away,” said Dr. Emmons.

Chickenpox is contagious and like most infections, doctors say the best way to prevent it from spreading is to wash your hands frequently.

Chickenpox can be spread through the air or by making contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. Click here for more information from the CDC on chickenpox.

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