ASEVEN-YEAR-OLD child from Margate is suffering through a third week of severe chicken pox after allegedly being exposed to the virus while she was admitted at a local hospital earlier this month. According to the child’s mother, who will remain anonymous to protect the child’s identity, the child was admitted at the hospital on Friday, June 1, for a “very high fever” and upper respiratory infection. She spent the weekend at the hospital and was released on Monday, June 4.During their stay at the hospital’s paediatric ward, another patient had apparently broken out with chicken pox and also spent the whole weekend at the ward with all the other patients.On Tuesday morning, when she got home, they noticed that the seven year old who was admitted for a high fever had also contracted the chicken pox virus. “In the room she was in, there was a girl that had chicken pox. This child was in there from Friday up to Monday or Tuesday morning, infected with chicken pox, and none of the doctors saw this and thought to isolate her. They were also supposed to at least give my child and the other children in the a shot as a precautionary measure but they didn’t and now my baby has had a severe chicken pox break out,” said the child’s mother. She said the infection is so bad that her child is weak and is constantly vomiting. “I took her to a private GP because I did not want to further risk her life at that hospital. The doctor confirmed it was chicken pox. It is taking a huge toll on her already weak immune system.” She said when she tried to contact the hospital to inform them of the infection they were of very little help. “I called the hospital and they said the correct protocol was to go and visit the hospital’s PRO but I was not able to take more leave from work to go and see the hospital’s PRO. I already have to stay up all night, cleaning up vomit and attending to my sickly child, going to work tired the next day, all over something that could have been avoided,” said the child’s mother. She said one of the doctors told her service in the public sector was strained due to lack of funds and short staff. According to her the doctor also told her that isolation rooms were a challenge and patients were often grouped together with patients with highly infectious diseases like TB and herpes. Spokesperson for the Health Department Ms Ncumisa Mafunda said there was no guarantee the infection was contracted from the hospital. “Since chicken pox has an incubation of around two weeks, it cannot be concluded that the child contracted the illness at one of our facilities. “However, the patient is encouraged to return to a local health facility for clinical assessment and treatment. “Additionally, the Department would like to encourage all parents to vaccinate their children timeously, as dictated by health professionals,” said Mafunda.