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Frequently Asked Questions

Editors Note: The University also sent this letter to students, faculty and staff and this letter to students' parents and guardians.

How many confirmed or probable cases have there been at the University of Dayton?

Five, with the last one reported Nov. 21.

What have you communicated to students, faculty and staff and parents and guardians?

The University sent this letter to students, faculty and staff and this letter to parents and guardians.

What is chickenpox and where can I find more information?

Visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on chickenpox.

What is the origin of chickenpox on campus?

Neither the University nor public health officials have been able to determine the origin of these cases.

I haven't been immunized against chickenpox. Where can I get the vaccine?

Area pharmacies and your local health department may be able to administer the two-dose varicella (chickenpox) vaccine; please call ahead to verify availability and pricing. If you receive the chickenpox vaccination off campus, please provide documentation to the Student Health Center. If you are not vaccinated against chickenpox, you pose risks to your health and others on campus. Before receiving the vaccine, you should review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information sheet on the chickenpox vaccine. If you have questions about the vaccination, please contact your healthcare provider.

I’ve been vaccinated. Can I still get chickenpox?

Yes, but people who are vaccinated are less likely to catch chickenpox and likely have less severe symptoms and fewer complications if they do get the disease. You can read more about the chickenpox vaccine here. Everyone can reduce the risk of chickenpox and other illnesses by covering coughs and sneezes, frequently washing hands, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding sharing cups, utensils, and e-cigarettes and other nicotine devices.

What advice are you giving to individuals who have not been immunized?

We recommend they get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, unless they have a medical reason that prevents them from receiving it. We let them know, if they do not, they are risking their health and the health of others. We recognize some cannot receive the chickenpox vaccine for medical reasons. We've urged them to contact their physician to discuss their medical conditions and risks.

We also are urging them to monitor themselves for symptoms — a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs with fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, headache. If asymptomatic but unimmunized, students are not prohibited from going to class, taking exams or attending graduation, but we strongly recommend they check with their physician about specific precautions and limit their exposure to people. If they choose to leave campus because of a doctor recommendation, contact the provost's office to make up class work or exams. Students may be excused from class by the provost's office only after they have been evaluated by and receive a note from the Student Health Center or their physician. Women who are pregnant and unvaccinated or do not have a history of chickenpox should talk to their obstetrician about their risks.

What if I don’t know if I've received the vaccination or have a record of receiving it? Is it safe to get it again?

If you are unsure if have had two chickenpox vaccines, please contact your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center to discuss your options.

What else can I do to avoid the spread of chickenpox?

Chickenpox virus spreads mainly by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters, and possibly through tiny droplets from infected people that get into the air after they breathe or talk. We encourage everyone to cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, frequently wash hands, avoid sharing cups, utensils, and e-cigarettes and other nicotine devices, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Isolation of people with chickenpox is also essential to prevent spread.

How serious is this?

As with any similar illness, like the flu, it's important to take proper steps to avoid spreading the illness and provide relief for symptoms. Death from chickenpox is exceedingly rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications from chickenpox can occur, but they are not common in healthy people who get the disease. People who have certain diseases that affect their immune response or take medications that suppress their immune system are at risk of more serious illness and should talk to their physician.

What if I have concerns about being exposed to someone infected or suspected of being infected by chickenpox?

Students suspecting they have chickenpox or symptoms should call the Student Health Center (937-229-3131). Faculty and staff suspecting they have chickenpox or symptoms should call their health care provider for an appointment for an evaluation, letting the office know they are concerned about chickenpox.

What about class, work or exams?

University of Dayton Housing and Residence Life (937-229-3317) will help make arrangements for housing and meals for students with chickenpox who are in isolation. Students may be excused from class or exams by the provost's office only after they have been evaluated by and receive a note from the Student Health Center. Students should work with respective faculty members to make up class work and exams. Faculty and staff who suspect they have chickenpox or symptoms should work with their supervisors and human resources to make arrangements for time off.

Where can I go for isolation?

The University has identified houses in the student neighborhood where those with chickenpox symptoms can isolate themselves and is working to identify more housing in the event of increased need. Students can isolate at home, but they should not take public transportation.

Will you publicly release the names of anyone infected with chickenpox?

Out of respect for the privacy of students and their education records, the University will not publicly identify students who are ill or any information that might identify them. We comply with the law and we've notified everyone we are required to notify.

If I have had chickenpox can I get them again?

Most people develop lifetime immunity once they’ve had chickenpox, although they can get shingles years later. It is very uncommon for people who have had chickenpox to get it again, unless they develop certain conditions or take medications that affect their immune system. People who are vaccinated have a small chance of developing a mild form of chickenpox, and should be seen by a health professional if they develop symptoms.

What about travel abroad students?

Faculty, staff and students on University-sponsored travel suspecting they have chickenpox or symptoms should be evaluated by a health professional and isolate themselves until they no longer have a fever and their blisters are fully scabbed, and consult with International SOS at 215-942-8226. If necessary, they will accept a collect phone call. International SOS provides worldwide medical, travel and security assistance and evacuation services for all faculty, staff and students participating in university-related travel. The SOS network of multilingual specialists operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Travelers may contact International SOS before and during their trips, for current reports on safety and security, health issues, medical care and vaccination requirements for the destination country.

What if this website or the CDC website don't answer my questions?

Students with additional questions or concerns can call or text the Division of Student Development at 937-751-2000 or email or email the Student Health Center at Faculty and staff with additional questions or concerns can contact the Office of Human Resources at 937-229-2538.