Ashland Middle School has one confirmed case of chickenpox and one unconfirmed, Ashland director of student services Samuel Bogdanove said Wednesday.
Jackson County Health and Human Services has been notified but has not issued any exclusions. About a year ago, when 27 chickenpox cases were reported in Ashland, non-vaccinated students whose classmates or family members had chickenpox were asked by the health department to stay home.
“Our usual protocol is to call the department of health and communicate with them,” Bogdanove said. “If we think there’s a chance that the student could have come into contact with other non-immunized kids we notify parents immediately. If kids are going to be excluded, which I don’t think is going to be the case, we would work with the department of health and they would make that determination.”
Bogdanove said the infected student, who did attend class at AMS prior to diagnosis, is being held out of school while they recover and the district has distributed to parents a letter that explains what to look for. Initial symptoms, the letter explains, may include fever and fatigue.
The infected student will not return to school until after the rash has crusted over, which takes at least five days.
Chickenpox is considered contagious from five days before the rash appears to five days after. Once a person is exposed, the incubation period is 14-16 days, but can be as few as 10 and as many as 21.
Bogdanove is encouraging parents and doctors to help minimize the spread by keeping the district in the loop.
“We really rely on parents and local physicians to let us know when cases are identified,” he said, “so it’s very important for parents to let us know and for local providers to let us know when something like that is identified.”
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.