Chickenpox outbreak at Chula Vista charter school

CHULA VISTA (KUSI) — A charter school in Chula Vista is in the midst of a chickenpox outbreak. Nine cases have been reported, and only one of the children was properly vaccinated, county health officials said Friday. The Dehesa Charter School Chula Vista Resource Center is at the center of the outbreak. Children aged from six to 15 contracted the sickness. 

The first report of the illness was Mar. 28, with the latest case occurring on Apr. 25. It takes at least two weeks for symptoms to appear once exposed to the virus, which means numbers could still be on the rise, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. The school has notified parents and staff about the outbreak. 

"The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the varicella vaccine," Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer said. "The vaccine is very safe and effective, and not only does it protect the person who is being vaccinated, it helps protect those who are unable to get the shot due to underlying medical conditions and who could become very ill if infected with chickenpox," Wooten said.

San Diego County has 25 logged cases of chickenpox so far this year, according to the HHSA. Chickenpox is only reportable to county health officials when there’s an outbreak or the illness leads to hospitalization or death. The virus is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing, sneezing or being in contact with chickenpox blisters on others who’ve contracted the illness. 

More information on chickenpox and immunizations in general is available from the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or online at www.sdiz.org.

Categories: Local San Diego News