Warning to parents as HPSC confirm rise in hospitalisations for chickenpox
A significant increase has been seen between 2022 and 2023 so far
Parents are being warned over an increase in the number of cases of chickenpox being reported across the country.
The latest HPSC report on infectious diseases has shown a hike in the number of people being infected with the chickenpox.
The figures state that so far in 2023 there have been a total of 62 cases reported. For the same period of time in 2022, there had only been 15 - marking an increase of 47.
According to health officials, the common childhood illness "causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever.
"The rash starts off as red spots that typically develop into small fluid filled blisters (vesicles) that then crust over before healing.
"The rash usually appears on the head and then the trunk, followed by the arms or legs. Successive crops appear over several days.
"Adults and children with immunocompromising conditions are more likely to have severe disease and more complications."
Kidshealth.org advised parents that most kids with a sibling who is infected also will get it (if they haven't already had the infection or the vaccine), showing symptoms about 2 weeks after the first child does.
Someone with chickenpox can spread the virus:
- through droplets in the air by coughing or sneezing
- in their mucus, saliva, or fluid from the blisters
Chickenpox is contagious from about two days before the rash starts until all the blisters are crusted over.
Someone with shingles can spread chickenpox (but not shingles) to people who haven't had chickenpox or the vaccine.
Because chickenpox is so contagious, parents should keep a child who has it should stay home and rest until the rash is gone and all blisters have dried.
This usually takes about one week. If you're unsure about whether your child is ready to return to school, ask your doctor.