Chickenpox Alert

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations and Emerson College policy require all students to either provide proof of immunization for communicable diseases, including chicken pox, or to sign a waiver based on religious beliefs that includes an understanding that they may be asked to stay away from campus for a period of time during a communicable disease exposure would be required.

Because there has been a case of chicken pox on campus, we have been informed by the Boston Health Commissioner that students who fail to provide proof of all required immunizations, which includes proof of immunity to the chicken pox will not be allowed to be on campus until their health records are in full compliance.

In order to prevent exclusion from campus, this documentation must be received by 5 pm on Friday, November 9, 2012 for residents of the Little Building and by Friday, November 16 for all other undergraduate and graduate students.

Proof of immunity can be demonstrated by immunization, blood test of immunity or in the case of chicken pox by clinician verification of disease.

Contact the Center Hotline at 617-824-8663 for more details. Records can be faxed to 617-824-7897.


The Center for Health & Wellness (CHW) is notifying the campus community that a case of chicken pox was identified in an on-campus resident
student on October 31st.

The undergraduate student resides on campus and was excluded from campus yesterday until they will be no longer contagious. We have been working with the student, the Boston Public Health Commission, and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to identify those individuals who may be at risk.

Students and faculty in classes for which the student is registered have been identified and were sent a separate e-mail, as were students with medical or religious exemptions for immunizations.

If you have had chicken pox or 2 doses of the (Chicken Pox) Varicella vaccine you are not at risk of infection or of passing the infection to someone else. If you have had chicken pox or received the vaccine, you have no need to read further.

If you have not had chicken pox or had the vaccine, we have secured a limited amount of vaccine from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and will be providing the vaccine to exposed students at the CHW today from 10-12 noon and 1-3 PM today until our supply runs out. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) recommends vaccination within the first 3-5 days of exposure (11/1-11/3) to reduce the risk of becoming infected.

We encourage you to review the additional information available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/downloads/PL-dis-chickenpox-color-office.pdf

Anyone who suspects he/she is coming down with chickenpox should STAY HOME/in your residence hall room, then contact the Center for Health & Wellness at 617-824-8666. If on campus during a time the CHW is closed, contact the RD on Duty for access to the After Hours physician practice. Chicken pox is contagious from 1 day before rash onset to 5 days after, or until the blisters are crusted over, whichever is later.