Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chickenpox may sometimes become Life Threatening

Suffering from chickenpox is not taken that seriously as most of the patients recover. Sometime back, one of my staff’s child was suffering from chickenpox and was admitted to the hospital. On enquiry of immunization status, the treating doctor, my colleague stated that the immunity is short lasting and each year vaccine is to be administered. This shook the concept that an infection from chickenpox or vaccination gives long lasting immunity.
English: The back of a 30-year old male suffer...
English: The back of a 30-year old male suffering from chickenpox. This is on the 5th day since the rash's development. Pocks are starting to crust over. Afrikaans: Die rug van 'n 30-jarige man wat waterpokkies het. Hierdie foto is op die 5de dag sedert die uitslag begin het. Die sere begin uit te droog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I came across an article in the Mail Online that narrates the story of death of a 7 years old girl child from chickenpox on December 27 last year. That can be accessed here.
This prompted me to remove the wrong concept that vaccination is required every year and chickenpox is not that dangerous. Of course, most of the sufferers recover well.
Chickenpox, though rarely, may cause encephalitis and ischemic arterial stroke that may result in death. The most irritating long term complication of it is shingles. That is why, it is better to get protected that to suffer from it.
Chickenpox is caused by Varicella Zoster, a virus and vaccination is started during 12-15 month of age with a second dose at 4-6 years. Those above 13 years of age and are neither suffered from it nor vaccinated, may take two shots at an interval of 28 days. Adults in a similar situation can be vaccinated.
Immunity lasts long, but as with all other vaccines, it may not translate to protection in 100% of cases.
Better to get vaccinated and protected than to suffer from it with a likely risk of death.
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