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Chickenpox outbreak spreads through children

Update: February, 11/2015 - 09:42
The number of children with chickenpox had risen rapidly over the past two weeks, said Dr. Do Chau Viet, head of HCM City Paediatric Hospital No 2's infectious disease ward. — Photo songmoi

HCM CITY (VNS) — Doctors at paediatric hospitals in HCM City said the yearly chickenpox outbreak had come earlier than usual, with the number of patients increasing daily.

The number of children with chickenpox had risen rapidly over the past two weeks, said Dr. Do Chau Viet, head of HCM City Paediatric Hospital No 2's infectious disease ward.

Between two and three children entered the hospital for treatment each day, he said. Some more complicated cases had become serious skin or blood infections.

Usually chickenpox spreads between March and May, but it's come unusually early this year and peaked quickly, according to health officials.

Dr Truong Huu Khanh, head of HCM City Paediatric Hospital No1's neurology and infectious disease ward, said he was worried the situation could reach an alarming level in the coming days, particularly during Tet, if no immediate action was taken to control it. Data showed that about 10 children were diagnosed with chickenpox at the hospital in December, but this month the number had reached 20 cases a day, he said.

Khanh revealed four serious cases were receiving in-hospital treatment.

Parents needed to take the initiative and bring their children to the hospital for their vaccinations, he said.

The Department of Health in HCM City last week confirmed instances of chicken pox at a preschool in Binh Thanh District. The outbreak at Tuoi Ngoc Preschool for Children with Autism infected eight students and teachers. The Centre for Preventive Medicine in Binh Thanh District disinfected the school.

City health experts guided teachers and managers on how to prevent the spread of the disease among children and faculty. Medical workers are keeping a close eye on the school.

Chickenpox is a viral infection caused by the varicella zoster virus, according to health officials. It spreads in droplets inhaled into the respiratory tract. Complications are rare, but serious, and can occur in healthy children.

Chickenpox tends to affect children under 10. In older children and adults, the disease can be more severe. It spreads very easily from one child to another. — VNS

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