Danedri Thompson
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Seven cases of chicken pox in Gardner have been reported to the Johnson County Health Department since November, Nancy Tausz, county disease containment division director, said.
Two of those cases have been reported since the beginning of 2012.
“It’s certainly nothing that’s unusual or that would raise alarm,” Tausz said.
By law, chicken pox is one of 57 communicable diseases that must be reported within a reasonable time frame. For some diseases, like small pox or measles, reports must be made to the state within four hours of diagnosis.
Vaccination has been available since the mid-1990s, but  there are still cases of chicken pox reported every year.
USD 231 requires that all students in grades kindergarten through second grade and seventh graders be vaccinated with two doses. One dose vaccination is acceptable for students enrolled in grades three through six and eight through high school unless a history of chickenpox is documented by a licensed physician.
There is no cure for the chicken pox, however symptoms of the disease are treated with anti-histamines and folk remedies like oatmeal baths.
Tausz said she encourages everyone – even adults who’ve never had the disease — to receive the vaccination. The disease itself is rarely fatal, but secondary complications can be dangerous.
“We stress the importance of vaccination,” she said. “There’s no need to get the disease if there’s a vaccine.”