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With the spring approaching, there is an increased chance of communicable diseases such as shingles and chickenpox. It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs. We vaccinate to protect ourselves and family.

Detailed information on shingles and chickenpox is available from the CDC. Per the CDC, shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, the virus that causes shingles, the varicella zoster virus, can spread from a person with active shingles to cause chickenpox in someone who had never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.

The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. Children, adolescents, and adults should get two doses of chickenpox vaccine. Chickenpox vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing the disease. Most people who get the vaccine will not get chickenpox. The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older should get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix® to protect against shingles and the complications caused by the disease.

You are also encouraged to help prevent the spread of the chickenpox or any contagious illness on campus by recognizing the symptoms and staying at home. If you have questions or concerns, contact your physician or Campus Health.

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