Grenada sees increase in chicken pox cases


ST. GEORGES, Grenada (eTN) – Health authorities are reporting that there is more than 200 percent increase in chicken pox cases during the first 14 weeks of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

According to data from the Ministry of Health which was obtained from the general hospital and public healthcare facilities, there were eight cases of chicken pox during the first quarter of 2007 while 23 have already been recorded for the same period during 2008.

“We do not wish for people to get all excited and panic about this, but they should know that from time to time we have periodic increases in persons becoming infected,” said Community Services Director Dr. Christine La Grenade. “What we want is for people to be very cautious about this disease because it’s contagious and if the appropriate measures are not taken it can result in more and more cases.”

Warning that one case in a house can result in an entire household becoming infected she said that there are precautionary measures which must be adhere to in order to control the spread within a household or any place where people are gathering.

“People should know that this is an airborne disease and if one person is infected there will be the need to isolate this person and wash clothes separately,” she said, while explaining that chicken pox is caused by the varicella virus and the infection is characterized by a fever and itchy, red spots which usually appear on the chest and stomach first, then appearing all over the entire body.

“The symptoms of chicken pox vary from individual to individual,” she said. “Some people may experience all of these symptoms while others experience one or two. The most common symptoms of chickenpox are mild fever, backache, headache, sore throat, a rash and blisters filled with fluid.”