Chicken pox outbreak in Pilbara schools

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Pilbara parents have been warned to keep sick children at home as chicken pox runs rampant through the Pilbara.

In the past four weeks, WA Country Health Services have seen 10 confirmed cases of chicken pox at two Hedland primary schools with additional confirmed cases this week at Hedland Senior High School and Karratha Senior High School.

WACHS Pilbara Public Health Physician Dr Heather Lyttle said the rash was initially small red raised spots that develop into small blisters or pustules, which then scab, dry and heal.

“The infection is usually mild in children, but can be more severe in adults, and the incubation period can be up to three weeks,” she said.

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The symptoms of chicken pox include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and an itchy rash over the body, face, scalp, armpits and limbs.

Passed from one person to another by coughing, sneezing and touching another persons infected skin, the virus can occur again in those who have had it previously or been immunised.

WACHS advises parents and guardians who think their children might have symptoms to keep their children at home from school and take them to a local GP to get tested.

A fact sheet from the Department of Health on the signs and symptoms of chicken pox is available here

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