UPDATE 8:15 p.m., Sept. 20: The director of Student Health Services reported a third case of chickenpox today in an email addressed to student residents.

This is the second case of chickenpox involving a student who lives on campus, according to the email.

“In addition to attending classes, this student has participated in campus move-in, Welcome Days, and has used the dining facilities in the residential community,” said Alastair K. Smith, director of Student Health Services.

Kevin Skahan contributed to this report.


Residential Life Numbers

Towers/STTC Community Desk: 415.405.9360

Mary Ward Community Desk: 415.406.5703

Mary Park Community Desk: 415.406.5702

Village Community Desk: 415.405.8000

UPDATE 2:30 p.m., Sept. 6: Student Health Services has rescheduled the administering of chickenpox vaccinations for tomorrow Friday, Sept. 7 from 8-10 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. For further information, please visit the Student Health Services’ website.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m., Sept. 6: After the two cases of chickenpox were reported at SF State over the weekend, Student Health Services will be administering chickenpox vaccines today from 8-10 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Cost of the vaccine is $115 per dose and will be charged to your SFSU Bursar account.

UPDATE  7:33 p.m.:  A second outbreak of chickenpox was addressed in an email sent by Alastair K. Smith, MD to SF State. The second case appears to be unrelated to the first report earlier today, according to the email.

The second involves a student who has participated in Welcome Days and campus move-in. The student lives in the residential community.

Students who live on campus and are not immune are advised to call a Residential Life staff member on duty. You may reach Residential Life by calling the following numbers.



A case of adult chicken pox has emerged at SF State.

A school-wide email was sent out by Alastair K. Smith, MD to SF State students Aug. 31, saying that there is a student with a case of the chickenpox.

Though the student infected does not live on campus, they were on campus August 27 and 29, visiting the Creative Arts building, Humanities building, Science building, Business building, Burk Hall and Bookstore during their infected stage.

Varicella, commonly known as chickenpox, is a virus which symptoms include fever, tiredness, headaches and a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that scab after several days. Chickenpox is a condition that is spread by airborne particles, sweat and skin-to-skin contact.

Scott Hongsweet, junior at SF State, had chickenpox when he was 4 years old, but is not concerned about the recent developments.

“I’ve had chickenpox and it was like having bug bites all over your body,” said Hongsweet. “Though it was super itchy, I wouldn’t be weary of going to school if there was a person with chickenpox there, because the chances of me getting it are very slim.”

The incubation period for chickenpox is 14 to 16 days and is infectious until five or six days after the onset of the rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.

Varicella carries the most complications for people over 15 years of age and under one year of age. Overall, it is estimated that adults account for 5 percent for reported cases of varicella but may carry the most risk, according to the CDC.

SF State isn’t the only university in the bay area that has experienced a health scare among the student body. The University of California at Berkeley had a mumps scare during October where seven students were infected.

Pregnant and immune-compromised people are at a high risk for infection, and persons who are not immune are suggested to get a dose of the varicella vaccine within three to five days of exposure.

Smith addressed in the email to the school: “We are monitoring the situation carefully, and given that most persons have immunity through childhood exposure or vaccination, we do not expect a major outbreak on campus.”

Beth Cross, junior at SF State, isn’t the least bit worried about chickenpox at her school.

“I am not worried about the disease on campus…I am sure there are way worse diseases on campus,” said Cross.

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Erin Dage

Erin Dage