A chickenpox outbreak has been reported at a school in Carlsbad, officials from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced Wednesday.
The HHSA says five kindergartners – two 5-year-olds and three 6-year-olds -- and one adult at Aviara Oaks Elementary School in the Carlsbad Unified School District have been diagnosed with chickenpox (varicella).
According to HHSA officials, one of the diagnosed children had received the chickenpox vaccine, but the other four kids and adult were not immunized.
Students and faculty have been notified about the outbreak. Students and staff at the neighboring Aviara Oaks Middle School, which is located on the same campus and shares some facilities, have also been notified.
Health officials urge parents to vaccinate their children, and say chickenpox is preventable with the right immunizations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the varicella vaccine per person.
Children should be vaccinated with the first dose at the age of 12 to 15 months, and the second dose at ages 4 to 6.
So far in 2013, health officials say there have been eight cases of chickenpox reported in San Diego County. Chickenpox is not reportable to the County Public Health Department unless it occurs in an outbreak, such as this outbreak in Carlsbad, or results in hospitalization or death.
The HHSA says chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that is easily spread by coughing, sneezing or coming in contact with chickenpox blisters.
Symptoms include a skin rash of blister-like lesions covering the body, usually more concentrated on the face, scalp and trunk. Most of those infected with chickenpox experience fever before or when the rash appears. Typically, the illness lasts about five to 10 days.
For more information about chickenpox and vaccinations, call the HHSA at (866) 358-2966 or visit this website.