Medical Program Assistant | Mental Health Services
The word “chickenpox” might conjure up some bad memories from childhood — staying home from school, enduring a torturous itch, maybe an oatmeal bath or two. But even as an adult, you’re still at risk of contracting the virus.
Chickenpox is a very contagious virus caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It spreads easily from either a cough or a sneeze from an infected person. The virus typically appears first as an itchy, uncomfortable rash on the head, then spreads to the rest of the body. Other symptoms may include fatigue, headache, and a fever that lasts several days. Your risk is increased if your immune system is suppressed by a chronic disease or medication.
Check your immunization records to make sure you received two doses of the varicella vaccine as a child or that you have previously had the chickenpox illness. If not, students can get vaccinated at UHS for a fee. Call 608-265-5600 or use MyUHS to make an appointment. Faculty and staff should contact their private health care provider. Even if you were vaccinated against the disease, you can still become infected. However, the symptoms are usually milder.
The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. If you think you may be infected or have any questions, contact UHS at 608-265-5600.
For more information about chickenpox and other resources, visit the CDC’s website.