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Army health officials have issued a notification letter to parents after two cases of chickenpox were confirmed at Patrick Henry Village Child Development Center in Heidelberg, Germany, according to an advisory issued by the Europe Regional Medical Command.

“Notifications were issued to inform community members and to dispel rumors that tend to generate undue alarm,” said Kimberly Jeffery-Wolfert, public health nurse.

The notification letter, which was sent to parents whose children attend the Patrick Henry Village CDC, said that chickenpox is a very contagious infection caused by a virus. It is spread by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. Chickenpox causes a rash, itching, tiredness and fever lasting an average of four to six days. Most children recover without any problems, the letter said.

It takes 10-21 days after contact with an infected person for someone to develop chickenpox. Vaccines help protect against the spread of the virus, according to health experts. Therefore, children will be vaccinated according to their specific needs by age.

In addition to notifying parents, health officials at the Heidelberg Health Clinic made recommendations to the staff on how to stop further spreading of the illness, such as opening windows to air out rooms and cleaning and sanitizing toys. Health officials are working with the community and CDC staff to ensure timely identification of, and follow-up with, individuals who may have been exposed, the PAO advisory said.

More information on chicken pox can be found at the national Centers for Disease Control website:http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/list_varicl.htm

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