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Chickenpox Outbreak at Casillas Elementary

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November 23, 2009

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reports that five students at Casillas Elementary School in the Chula Vista School District have been diagnosed with Chickenpox (varicella). This is the tenth Chickenpox school cluster reported in 2009.

All five students had received one dose of the Chickenpox vaccine. Two doses of vaccine are recommended.

“We urge parents to make sure their children get one dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Ninety-nine percent of people develop immunity after two doses,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer.

School officials have informed parents and staff about the outbreak.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella virus. The disease is easily spread by coughing, sneezing or contact with chicken pox blisters.  

Symptoms 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.

For more information on Chickenpox and immunizations in general, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch at 619-692-8661 or visit the website at

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