RILEY COUNTY (KSNT) – The Riley County Health Department is reporting that six cases of chickenpox have emerged in the county in the past two weeks, according to a release.

The health department said the cases were in patients between 6 and 14 years old.

The last time Riley County identified a case of chickenpox was in 2020 when a 16-year-old international traveler returned to the county, according to the release.

The health department asks residents to be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • A rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Headache 

“If children are behind in getting their required school immunizations, the summer would be a great time to schedule those appointments and get caught up,” said Riley County Health Officer Julie Gibbs.

Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccines and all required school vaccines are available at the Riley County Health Department (RCHD) and most doctor’s offices.

Children and adults can get vaccines at RCHD, located at 2030 Tecumseh Road, on a walk-in basis. No appointment is needed, but appointments are also available by calling (785) 776-4779 to schedule an appointment. The clinic is open:

  • Mon-Wed: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Thurs: noon – 6 p.m.
  • Fri: 8:30 – 11 a.m.

Chickenpox is highly contagious and common in the United States, according to the health department. Each year, more than 3.5 million cases of chickenpox, 9,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths are prevented by chickenpox vaccination in the United States, the Riley County Health Department said in a statement to the media on Thursday.