Tunstall High School dealing with chicken pox outbreak

Tunstall High School is dealing with an outbreak of chickenpox.

Around 20 students at the Pittsylvania County school have chickenpox and are out of school.

Head nurses from the county school board office are working directly with the school to see if anyone else has chickenpox.

"We are trying to be very thorough and figure out if it is a certain group of people but right now it seems to be very random," said Janice Wiles, the school nurse coordinator.

Pittsylvania County Schools Superintendent James McDaniel says the outbreak is not yet an epidemic. To be classified as an epidemic, 10 percent of the student body has to be affected. McDaniel says this is not a concern right now, but it could be a possibility.

Wiles says the school is expecting to deal with the outbreak from now until the end of the school year because the incubation period for chickenpox is from two to 21 days.

"Usually if you've been exposed you break out day 14 and we are only in like the first 10 days of the incubation period so it's going to follow the students through the end of school this year," said Wiles.

The majority of students with chickenpox are juniors and seniors.

The reason, they believe is because not all students are required by law to have the chickenpox vaccine.

Students born before January 1, 1997 are exempt making them more vulnerable.

The school is encouraging students to stay home if they have rashes or experience other symptoms. The school division is working with the county board of health to develop a vaccination program.