UNIVERSITY PARK – University Health Services has seen three students in recent days who have been diagnosed with chickenpox or varicella virus infection.
This is a common childhood viral illness that usually is mild in children but can be a more significant illness in young adults. It is characterized by fever, malaise and sneezing and coughing, quickly followed by the typical rash of red bumps that are very itchy, blister and ooze a clear or yellowish fluid. Since 1995 there has been a readily available vaccine against varicella. Most Penn State students have either had chicken pox — and are immune as a result of that — or have had the vaccine, which also will provide immunity.
However, students who have had neither the disease nor the vaccine may be susceptible to the virus.
University Health Services would recommend that students check with their families to determine whether they have had either the disease or the vaccine. Those who have had neither can get the vaccine by appointment by calling University Health Services at 863-0774.
Additional information is available online.