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San Diego State University Aztecs cope with chickenpox outbreak

Chickenpox sidelines SDSU Aztecs players
Posted at 12:36 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 22:57:12-04

UPDATE: On Monday the university confirmed five players had contracted the virus. Head Coach Rocky Long told 10News on Tuesday that one of those players had already been cleared and was at practice Tuesday afternoon. 

The coach said their scrimmage on Saturday and the Fan Fest activities will go on as planned.

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego State University Aztecs football team canceled practice on Monday night in response to an outbreak of chicken pox.

The outbreak began with three players who began showing symptoms on Saturday. There are now five confirmed cases of the disease.

SDSU learned about the three infected players on Saturday said Mike May, the Senior Associate Athletic Director of Communications and Media.

The university released a statement on Monday night:

“We are in communication with County Public Health Services and will be working with them as needed going forward. The cases are still contained to just the football team and not the general student population (classes begin on Aug. 28).”

10News learned that Monday’s practice was canceled so crews could clean and disinfect the team’s locker room and weight room in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus.

Chickenpox is a very contagious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  It can be spread by touching or breathing virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters.

Symptoms include:

  • Blister-like rash
  • Itching
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

Chickenpox causes blisters that turn into scabs after a week. The illness usually lasts five to seven days. It can be serious, especially in infants and people with weakened immune systems.

The best way to avoid chickenpox is to receive the vaccine, says the CDC. Some people who have been vaccinated can still get the disease, although the symptoms will be mild.

According to the SDSU website, the chickenpox vaccine is recommended, but not required, for students.

The Aztecs football team is preparing for its first game against UC Davis at Qualcomm Stadium on September 2.