The Herald Bulletin

August 1, 2013

County prepared for potential chickenpox outbreaks

By Dani Palmer The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON -- While Indiana saw multiple chickenpox outbreaks last year, the Madison County Health Department didn’t detect any and a state requirement for students should keep it that way this year, officials said Wednesday.

Students in grades kindergarten through 12th are required to provide proof of two valid doses of the vaccine or a documented history of already having contracted the disease.

There were only two probable cases reported in Madison County in 2012, according to the Indiana National Electronic Disease Surveillance System. Chickenpox outbreaks are defined as five or more cases in youth under 13 years of age and three or more cases among those older than 13.

If it is ever determined that there’s an outbreak in Madison County, the Health Department will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, officials said.

Indiana Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve recommended that students receive the following immunizations if they haven’t already: two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine; a flu vaccine every year; human papilloma virus vaccine for all adolescents; and a booster dose of meningitis vaccine for adolescents ages 16-18. However, those vaccinations are not required.

The Madison County Health Department provides immunizations for chickenpox and other diseases through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program for children without insurance, those with Medicaid and families whose insurance doesn’t cover immunizations.

There is a $10 fee per child and other families can seek immunizations through their family physicians.

A list of required vaccinations for Indiana students can be found at www.in.gov/isdh/files/2013-2014_School_Immunization_Requirements_with_Proposed_2014-2015.pdf.

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The Madison County Health Department's walk-in children's immunization clinics are open weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The first and third Thursday of the month from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The third Wednesday of the month at the Elwood YMCA from 9:30 a.m. to noon A shot record is required and the child must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.