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Bethel student diagnosed with chickenpox

On the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 3, Haywood County Schools administration was notified by public health officials that a student at Bethel Elementary School has been diagnosed with chickenpox.  The student is not currently in school and is receiving appropriate medical treatment. The school sent a letter home to parents at Bethel Elementary informing them about the diagnosis.  

Chickenpox is a contagious illness caused by a virus. It is transmitted by person-to-person contact or through the air by coughing or sneezing. The most common symptoms are rash, fever, coughing, headache, and loss of appetite.  The rash usually develops on the scalp and torso and then spreads to the face, arms, and legs. The rash first appears as small, itchy, red bumps which turn into blisters. Chickenpox lasts about five to 10 days. Parents are asked to keep your child out of school for at least five days from the development of blisters or until all blisters are dried and crusted over.

Most cases of chickenpox are treated with bed rest, fluids, and control of fever. Do not give your child aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for reducing fever due to the possibility of Reye’s syndrome or other complications. If you believe your child has chickenpox, it's recommended that you contact your health care provider immediately for more information about medicines to control your child’s fever and if further treatment is needed for serious cases.

A vaccine to prevent chickenpox is available. The vaccine is recommended for healthy people over 12 months of age. The vaccine may also prevent illness or reduce the severity of chickenpox if given within three days of exposure to a person with chickenpox.

If you have further questions concerning chickenpox, consult your health care provider or contact the Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency at 828.452.6675.

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