Niles West Student Tests Positive for Chickenpox


By Celina Saba, News Editor

A student at Niles West tested positive for the chickenpox, also known as Varicella. Three students, unvaccinated against Varicella, were exposed to the positive case and are quarantining for 21 days. According to Assistant Principal of Student Services, Dr. Antwan Babakhani, the cases are contained to these students.  

An email was sent to the positive student and their family, exposed students, the students’ teachers and extracurricular coaches and sponsors.

The email consists of the following information:

  • Illinois school code regarding quarantine time (21 days) if you’ve never had chickenpox or you’re unvaccinated 
  • Eligible return date
  • Information on Varicella
  • The incubation period
  • The contagious periods 
  • Signs, symptoms and treatment
  • How the virus spreads
  • General prevention measures

According to the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention, chickenpox spreads when a “person touches or breathes in the virus particles that come from chickenpox. It can also spread through tiny droplets that get into the air when someone who has chickenpox breathes or talks, for example.” Symptoms usually last about a week and include an itchy rash of blisters, a fever, a headache and feeling tired. 

Illinois state law requires all students enrolled in public schools to be vaccinated against chickenpox, but there are exemptions for religious and medical reasons. 

According to the Niles West nurse records, 96% of the student population is vaccinated against chickenpox. Students who have not been vaccinated should contact the school nurse if they believe they may have chickenpox symptoms.