Chicken pox spreads as heat wave singes City

With the City facing an unusually sizzling summer, it has brought in its wake a spurt in the cases of chicken pox, especially among children.

According to doctors, rising temperatures result in ideal conditions for the infection to spread. Paediatricians explained that among seasonal ailments children suffer as heat surges is chicken pox and the cases have risen in significant numbers.

Vani Vilas Hospital paediatrician Dr Asha Benakappa said the epidemic was prevalent among children below the age of 11. “Since it is summer, the cases have gone up considerably,” she said. Dr Manjunath Sharma, a paediatrician, said the problem was high among schoolgoers. “With the change in climate, the cases have gone up considerably,” he said adding that lesser immunity and being unhygienic might contribute significantly to the spread of the disease.

“Fever, rashes, body pain and dizziness are among symptoms evident,” Dr Sharma said.

With the delay in the onset of symptoms (that might take a week’s time), he said the virus would have already spread.

He said that in a few cases, the problem might be associated with cerebellitis, ear infections, meningitis and other secondary infections.

Dr Sheril Hegde, paediatrician at Vikram Hospital, said the infection spreads through contact and seasonal transitions were favourable time for outbreaks. It is important to keep a watch on household contacts if one is infected, he said. Even as awareness has gone up considerably, the number of cases reported despite vaccination continues.

Shagun, a child attending a play school, has contracted chicken pox. His parents said they had a tough time as the child would not understand the care needed to be taken to prevent further infection. Also, with exams on for a few, the infection was no less a glitch.

“He was unable to go school or tuition for last-minute preparation,” his parents said adding that the medication he was administered made him more sleepy.

Dr Hegde said though vaccine did not provide complete immunity, it would reduce the intensity. He said calamine lotion for rashes would reduce irritation and a mild dose of paracetamol would bring down fever. “A sponge bath is advisable when infection is on, to ensure that it does not spread,” he explained.

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