Toronto Public Health has received notification of a possible case of chickenpox in your child’s school. This letter is being sent to all parents to provide information about chickenpox.
Students exposed to chickenpox
If your child has ever had chickenpox infection your child is protected. Although chickenpox is a mild disease for most children, some people are at higher risk of becoming very ill. High-risk groups include newborns, pregnant women, children with leukemia, people with weak immune systems, people with serious illness or people on steroid treatment. If your child is in this high-risk group, he/she should be seen by a physician to discuss his/her risk and what can be done.
Students with chickenpox
If your child has chickenpox and has been in contact with anyone in a high-risk group (as listed above) while contagious (2 days before the rash begins to 5 days after the first blisters appear), contact these people immediately. Tell them they have been exposed to chickenpox and they need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Their physicians can call Toronto Public Health for further information.
If your child gets chickenpox, he/she can return to school when well enough to participate in all activities, even if the rash is still present. Chickenpox is most contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears when it spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing. Chickenpox is usually diagnosed after the rash appears so keeping students home from school does not stop the spread of chickenpox.
A vaccine for chickenpox is now available. If your child has not yet had chickenpox or the vaccine, we recommend that your child should see your doctor to get vaccinated.
Additional information on chickenpox is available in the attached Fact Sheet: Chickenpox Disease and Vaccine Information
If you have any questions or wish to discuss this in more detail, please call Heather Robinson Communicable Disease Investigator, from Toronto Public Health at 416-338-3504.
Toronto Public Health