Chickenpox cases on the rise in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Chickenpox cases on the rise in Michigan

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An outbreak of chickenpox is being reported in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says that there have been around 239 chickenpox cases through April, 57 percent more than the same time last year.

It’s not clear if there are certain areas that are seeing more cases, but the MDHHS is advising parents to make sure their children are up to date on chickenpox vaccinations.
“The chickenpox vaccine is safe and very effective, and is required for school and day care attendance to help prevent the spread of illness,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “It is important to know that, despite common misconceptions, illness from chickenpox can be severe and sometimes require hospitalization resulting in serious complications.”

Chickenpox is highly contagious, with the virus spreading easily through coughing, sneezing, among other types of contact. Like other herpes-family viruses, this virus has the capability to remain in the body indefinitely as a latent infection and reactivate later in life.

When the chickenpox virus reactivates it causes a painful condition called shingles, also known as zoster.  

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