Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
By: Olson, Jeremy
Minnesota schools are now required to report every student case of chickenpox as the State Department of Health changes its system for monitoring the disease in schools. Under the old reporting system, schools only reported multi-student outbreaks involving five or more students under 13 at one school or three ore more students over 13, but state health officials could no longer track the spread of chickenpox because the number of cases had dropped so low. Minnesota Department of Health immunization specialist Claudia Miller says, “It’s very good news. It means the two-dose recommendation [of varicella vaccine] has been effective.” Two doses of vaccine have been required for students entering kindergarten since 2009, and federal data indicate that 87 percent of children in the state received the first dose when they turned one. Miller stresses the importance of monitoring the disease, particularly cases involving those who have been immunized.