SFSU health officials issue chicken pox advisory


For students, the word is out about chicken pox on campus. "I just got an email and it looks like there were two cases I think that came out and my roommate yelled from across the room, hey did you see the email at the same time?" SFSU student Karli Helm said.

These cases are unexpected for health officials. "It's just very unusual. We were very surprised to get two cases which appear to have arisen in two separate California counties," SFSU Director of Student Health Dr. Alastair Smith said.

Both students were diagnosed at San Francisco State University this week. One student lives in Alameda County and the other lives in El Dorado County. They are unrelated and were infected before coming to campus.

With two cases of chicken pox on campus, health officials are concerned about people who might have immune deficiencies or who are pregnant.

"That's people with cancer, chemotherapy, or on high dose steroids.Those people are made aware that there have been these cases," Smith said.

For many California college students, chicken pox is an illness they've either had as a child or have already been immunized against.

"The rash is absolutely typical of chicken pox and you get little red bumps that rapidly turn into thin walled blisters and then those blisters burst," Smith said.

Vaccinations will be available on campus next week for students who are interested.

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