Chicken Pox Breaks Out At An East Texas School - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/30/07-Longview

Chicken Pox Breaks Out At An East Texas School

More than a dozen East Texas students are sent home with the same contagious virus. Now the school is doing all they can to treat their chicken pox outbreak. Pine Tree Primary School in Longview, which is the Pre-K and Kindergarten school, confirmed it's seen 19 cases of the chicken pox.   School administrators say every day since last Monday, they've sent handfuls of kids home with the virus. And now, there's been one reported case at their elementary campus, but there is something you can do to protect your children.

When mom Marce Garcia heard about an outbreak of the Chicken Pox at Pine Tree's Primary school, she immediately took her girls to the Gregg County Health Department for a vaccination.  

"It's a little shocking to have 19 cases especially at the school where my kids go so yeah it makes you a little nervous," says Marce.

Texas state law says school-aged children must be vaccinated for chicken pox. Marce had made sure her children were protected and never thought this second dose would be necessary, but it's something the health department is encouraging all parents to do.

"What we're seeing across the country is that children who have been vaccinated with one dose of varicella vaccine are now beginning to have breakthrough cases of chicken pox," says Bettie Clark with the Gregg County Health Department.

"I wasn't aware that you could get it after the shot already," says Marce.

But you can, and parents need to be aware. That's why the school district has sent a letter home.  

"It is a contagious disease and we're hoping that parents will you know keep monitoring their children for those blisters and take a look at fever," says Vickie Echols with Pine Tree Independent School District.

And the health department adds if your kid starts to get a fever, just keep them home for their sake and the sake of all students.

"Chicken pox can be quite serious in children who may have some immune suppression issues and it can actually be fatal," says Bettie.

That's why Marce was first in line for the vaccine. Her daughter Elysia has asthma. But now she's protected from the pox a second time around.

The Gregg County Health Department says there's no treatment for the virus, it just has to run its course. Fortunately, school officials say they are seeing fewer and fewer cases each day. If more break out, the health department could decide to close the school temporarily.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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