Portland Expo reports that volunteers and staff may be exposed to chickenpox

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Photo Courtesy of the CDC website

By Lydia Libby, Web Editor

The Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) sent a letter on August 2 to Portland Expo volunteers and staff reporting multiple cases of chickenpox in people staying at the Portland Expo.

According to the CDC website, the average incubation period for chickenpox, also known as varicella, is 14 to 16 days after exposure to varicella. Once contracted, it can take 10 to 21 days to fully recover.

The CDC says that only those who visited the Expo on July 26 or later should check for symptoms. The most common symptom is an itchy, blister-like rash on the chest, back, and face. This rash spreads to cover the entire body.

“After about a week the blisters become scabs,” said Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC. “Other common symptoms beginning one or two days before the rash include fever, feeling tired, loss of appetite, and headache.”

The virus is spread easily through close contact with any infected person.

The CDC says the best way to prevent contracting the virus is with the varicella vaccine. They encourage anyone exhibiting any of these signs or symptoms to contact their healthcare provider.

For questions regarding the varicella vaccine, contact the Maine CDC Immunization Program at 800-867-4775 or through [email protected]

Students from the University of Maine Law School volunteered at the Expo at the end of June where roughly 200 asylum seekers were staying.

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