Baker County Health Department and Center for Human Development Public Health announce a chickenpox exposure at the Northeast Oregon Classic Wrestling Tournament that was held in Union, Oregon on Saturday December 1, 2018.

Chickenpox, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is spread by coughing and by direct person-to-person contact. Chickenpox is dangerous for infants, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system. These people may want to consult with their doctor. Children who develop chickenpox will need to stay home from school and public gatherings until the lesions have crusted or dried with no further drainage-typically 5 days after the rash appears.

Symptoms include sudden onset of fever and feeling tired, followed by a blister-like rash that may itch. A person can transmit chickenpox and is considered contagious from 2 days before the rash appears to 5 days after the rash appears, or until all blisters have crusted over. Once a person is exposed, illness typically appears 14-16 days later, but can appear as few as 10 and as many as 21 days after exposure. For many, the virus is mild.

Vaccination is the best way to prevent chickenpox. Please consider vaccinating your child if he or she has never had the chickenpox. The vaccine is available through many local healthcare providers as well as the Baker County Health Department and CHD Public Health in Union County. Please contact your own healthcare provider or the Baker County Health Department at 541-523-8211 or the Union County CHD at 541-962-8800 if you have any questions.