Cases of chickenpox confirmed in Grant County

Vaccination urged if necessary

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MOSES LAKE — Grant County Health District officials are urging residents to take precautions after “a cluster of confirmed and probable chickenpox cases” in three Moses Lake schools and a Moses Lake church.

“As of Sept. 14 there are 3 known schools affected,” including Park Orchard, North and Longview elementaries, according to a press release from the health district. “The potential for spread to turther schools is high. There was also an exposure on Sept. 7 at the Source of Life church.”

Parents are being urged to check children’s vaccination status - and their own. Signs of the disease include itchy skin with a blister rash, fever, headache and loss of appetite.

The disease can have serious complications, especially for people with compromised immune systems or other health problems. “Infection during pregnancy can cause serious complications for the unborn child.”

Chickenpox is contagious for 1 to 2 days before the rash appears, and stays contagious until all the blisters have crusted over, usually 4 to 7 days after the rash appears. The disease is spread by direct contact, by coughing or sneezing, or contact with discharges from the sores, the press release said. “The scabs themselves are not considered infectious.”

Health district officials are urging children and adults to get vaccinated if they don’t have proof of immunity.

- Staff report

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