Two students with the Biloxi High School football team have been diagnosed with chicken pox, prompting school leaders to cancel this evening's football game and other upcoming sporting events, and advise all parents to closely monitor their children for symptoms.
The football team’s season-opening game, which had been scheduled for this evening against South Jones in Ellisville, was canceled this afternoon as precaution. Also canceled or postponed: a volleyball game at Our Lady Academy and a mini-cheer clinic, both of which had been scheduled for Saturday; and a junior-varsity football game that had been scheduled for Monday at George County.
Additionally, parents of all Biloxi Public Schools students are being notified about the two cases today through the school's automated telephone messaging service.
“Parents of children with known exposure should monitor his/her child closely for signs and symptoms of the illness; fever and skin rash,” advised Jalena Taylor, a registered nurse with Biloxi Public Schools. “If the child develops these symptoms the parents should keep him/her at home and consult your physician.”
Chicken pox, which is spread primarily through coughing, is a highly contagious though rarely fatal illness with symptoms that include skin rash of blister-like lesions, covering the body but usually more concentrated on the face, scalp, and trunk. Most, but not all, infected individuals have fever, which develops just before or when the rash appears. If exposed, persons who have been vaccinated against the disease may get a milder illness, with less severe rash -- sometimes involving only a few red bumps that look similar to insect bites -- and mild or no fever.
The incubation period for chicken pox is seven to 10 days, which means that by the time skin lesions appear, one has been infected for several days. Because some students have been vaccinated and others have not, concerned parents should contact their local physician or the county health department, (228) 435-3641. Students and school employees who are pregnant or have autoimmune issues should do the same.
More info online: To learn more about chicken pox -- symptoms, complications, and available vaccines -- click here.
Third-graders to participate in resiliency program
Third grade students in Biloxi Public Schools will be participating in a Pillow Case Project, a program designed to help students prepare for and psychologically deal with disasters.
The Pillow Case Project, which will be conducted at various times through the year, was created as a result of a heightened need for psychological support and preparedness for children after Hurricane Katrina.
The American Red Cross partnered with Save the Children in the effort.
The Pillow Case Project will provide in-class activities and pillow cases to be used for evacuation essentials that will give third students a sense of their own preparedness. There will be a few "goodies" in the pillow cases including suggestions for the kids own personal items.
Objectives of the activities in the program:
1. Teaching the children to focus on their specific, family-assigned tasks during a disaster.
2. Basic home safety and how to stay safe in the event of separation from their family during a disaster.
3. Having a disaster plan, which will include some take home materials to engage families.
4. Developing preparedness kits.
News and notes
Back to school night: Biloxi Junior High School will hold Back to School Night on Tuesday, Aug. 24, beginning at 6 p.m. Hear all about it from Principal Carl Fantroy by clicking here.
August school board meeting: To see photos from the Aug. 17 meeting of the Biloxi school board, click here.
Students in spotlight: Jacards Worthen of Biloxi High School will be in Jackson today to be recognized by the State Board of Education Meeting for the winning ProStart Culinary team for Mississippi. BHS students Michaela Moore and Carlton Warnberg will take part in the City of Biloxi's Katrina memorial observance on the Town Green on Sunday, Aug. 29, the fifth anniversary of the storm.