Chickenpox outbreak in Limpopo

2010-09-22 07:05

At least 94 cases of chickenpox have been confirmed in the Limpopo province, the provincial health department has said.

Activities at Koedoeskop primary school in Waterberg were suspended after 93 learners and a teacher were diagnosed with chickenpox, spokesperson Cecil Motsepe said in a statement this morning.

“The hardest-hit class was Grade 0, wherein 22 out of 46 children were infected, while Grade 7 was the least affected with just one casualty in a class of 21 pupils.”

The department advised the school to send learners home to avoid further spreading.

“Our team of professionals are currently in the area to investigate, treat and educate the community about chickenpox,” said Motsepe.

Chickenpox is a “highly contagious illness” which spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. One of the symptoms is small red itchy spots which turn into blisters.

It can take a person up to three weeks before showing signs of the virus.

Motsepe said chickenpox was rarely fatal, but more severe in adult males than in adult females or children.

Anyone showing signs of the virus should get immediate medical treatment, the department said. 

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