Breaking: Chickenpox at the College

A case of chickenpox has been reported on campus, according to an email sent out by Health Services on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

According to the email, Health Services has been in contact with the New Jersey Department of Health, who provided information about the illness, also known as varicella.

These include facts, such as: chickenpox causes a skin rash of itchy, blister-like lesions all over the body; often there is a fever before the rash and chickenpox is usually not serious, but it may cause more severe illness in some individuals leading to hospitalization.

The email noted that chickenpox is very contagious, and “spreads easily from person to person through the air by coughing and sneezing or by direct contact with the fluid from a chickenpox lesion.” Those with chickenpox are contagious from one to two days before the rash appears. The email said it usually takes 14 to 16 days to develop chickenpox symptoms, but symptoms may appear 10 to 21 days after exposure.

The email also stated, “Because complications of chickenpox increase with age, the disease becomes increasingly more serious for adolescents and adults.”

Anyone who develops chickenpox should contact Health Services for informational purposes. The message also advises that those with chickenpox “should remain at home and keep your distance from susceptible people until the rash has dried and scabbed, about 5-7 days. This is true even if you were previously vaccinated.”