Warning to Irish parents following chickenpox outbreak
Chickenpox is highly contagious.
A warning has been issued to parents in Ireland following a chickenpox outbreak.
Cases are higher than usual this year, according to one expert.
Speaking to The Irish Sun, Public Health Director Andy Kingdom said it is spreading rapidly this year;
"We're seeing that with chickenpox for instance, because children were kept away from each other [in lockdowns] we didn't get the usual pattern.
"So we're seeing schools where three classes have caught chickenpox rather than one."
Parents have been urged to keep children with chickenpox out of school.
The illness is extremely contagious, especially among younger children.
Symptoms to look out for
The main symptom to be aware of is red spots. The spots can appear anywhere on your child's body. They tend to become extremely itchy after 12- 14 hours.
These spots will blister and may also burst. There is a risk of the spots spreading.
The spots will scab over, but other blisters may appear during this stage of chickenpox.
The spots should scab and fall off naturally within 1 to 2 weeks.
Other symptoms of chickenpox include a high temperature, aches and pains, loss of appetite and generally feeling unwell.
There is no cure for chickenpox, but children's symptoms can be eased with calamine lotion and paracetamol.
Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella zoster.
You can get chickenpox at any age, but it mostly affects children under the age of 10.
A chickenpox vaccine is available, but it is not part of routine childhood vaccination.