Bermuda: Chickenpox cases ‘on the increase’

By Owain Johnston-Barnes
Chickenpox has been reported spreading around the island, according to the Ministry of Health.

In a statement yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit confirmed that there had been an increase in reports of varicella — commonly known as Chickenpox — above usual seasonal levels.

“As of February 11, four cases have been reported to the unit through the routine reporting system,” the spokeswoman said. “There have also been reports regarding groups of cases in the community.”

Varicella is a highly contagious airborne disease that forms small, itchy blisters. Other common symptoms include fever and headaches.

The Ministry of Health recommends that those who contract the disease stay home for at least five days after the trademark rash first appears and until all of the blisters have scabbed over. There is no specific treatment for chickenpox infection but there are several ways to help relieve the symptoms.

Rest and fluids are encouraged, while the risk of skin infection from scratching can be reduced by the use of over the counter anti-itch soaps and lotions and by keeping fingernails short.

Vaccinations for the disease are available, and anyone who has not been vaccinated is urged to contact their doctor or the Child Health Immunisation Clinic at the Hamilton Health Centre on Victoria Street.

For information on how to treat symptoms or prevent the disease, please see the chickenpox fact sheet at www.gov.bm/health-data-and-monitoring. (The Royal Gazette)

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