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CHICKENPOX OUTBREAK AT NC SCHOOL
A chickenpox outbreak at a private school in North Carolina has grown to the state’s largest in more than 20 years. At least 36 children have contracted chickenpox at the Ashville Waldorf School. The school has both nursery and primary school departments and is one of more than 1000 schools around the globe that adopts the Waldorf education philosophies. The health department has been monitoring the outbreak since the end of October. Chickenpox can be life-threatening in babies, adolescents, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. "We also get worried about babies, infants under one year of age, um, and then also pregnant women. If a pregnant woman who was not immune to chickenpox were to get ill with chickenpox early in pregnancy or around the time of delivery it could be devastating for the pregnancy," says Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, the Buncombe County Medical Director. Health officials say the best way to prevent becoming infected with chickenpox is to be fully immunized.