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Our Bureau /
Bhagalpur : Sudden spat of spreading of chickenpox in many parts of Bihar including in some parts in Bhagalpur city has exposed the tall claims of eradication of the disease by the government.
With the rise in mercury level, cases of chickenpox have increased in the city. Fluctuating temperature is ideal for the growth of all types of viruses, including that of chickenpox, experts said.
Sekhar Mandal’s a native of Company Bag locality in Bhagalpur city, 7 year-old daughter has been fighting with the disease at the isolation ward of Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical college and hospital (JLNMCH), Bhagalpur for the last eight days. As many as 18 children presently getting treatment at the JLNMCH for the disease.
Doctors said cases of chickenpox have increased by at least 30-345 percent with the onset of summer. “Inflow of such patients mainly the tender aged patients have suddenly increased in these days,” said a doctor at JLNMC. The chickenpox (varicella) is a viral infection that causes an itchy, blister-like rash and high-grade fever. It is highly contagious to people who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it.
“Chickenpox patients complain of rashes especially in trunk area. Apart from prolonged fever, such patients also suffer from decreased appetite. They develop blisters and rashes. Clusters of blisters around the trunk and severe itching are quite common among chickenpox patients. “Patients with fever should immediately visit a doctor as the virus is highly contagious and is carried through air,” another doctor at the hospital pointed out.
R K Sinha, a senior pediatric in JLNMCH said that proper care to such patients besides medical facilities are very important in handling such cases. Family members and the parents should keep their children at home in case they contract the infection as it could easily spread to other children in school and other public places if precautions are not taken.
The infection is self-limiting and the incubation period for chickenpox is generally 10-14 days. However, pregnant women must be protected from this serious illness by consulting the doctor immediatly. The newborns might suffer from deformities if the mother contracts chickenpox during pregnancy, doctors said.
Patients who have undergone organ transplants and those suffering from cancer are more prone to the disease due to weak immunity. “If the disease is unchecked in adults, it might escalate to pneumonia,” said the doctor.
The disease however attached with many superstitions any many even after getting infected with the disease, avoid to avail any medicine rather prefer for home remedies. Doctors here claimed that people resort to home remedies even after consulting the doctor and return back with more serious complications due to myths and taboos prevalent in the society. “We are not against age-old prophylactic practices, such as using ‘neem’ leaf, but one must have lots of fluids and home cooked food for timely recovery. Besides, additional supply of protein is highly required inside the body along with some antibiotics for a patient,” a local doctor said here.
Spreading of chickenpox has set an alarm bell for the district officials here. “All possible measures are taken for countering the disease, we are also started awareness drive to make people aware of the disease,” said Dr. Manoj Kumar Choudhary here.