ILOILO – Thirty-six cases of chickenpox were recorded in Barangay Cadabdab, Tubungan town since Jan. 1 this year.
The cases involved 35 schoolchildren of Cadabdab Elementary School and a 41-year-old adult believed to have brought the illness to the barangay, according to the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado of the PHO said the adult patient was working in Iloilo City and returned to Barangay Cadabdab after getting sick of chickenpox.
The Rural Health Unit of Tubungan theorized that this person had children going to Cadabdab Elementary School, thus the spread of chickenpox in the school, said Trabado.
Twenty boys and 15 girls were afflicted.
The illness, however, appeared to have tapered off since March 4. No new cases have been reported, said Trabado.
Chickenpox is an acute and highly contagious disease. It is caused by primary infection with the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) that causes an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters.
VZV is highly transmissible via respiratory droplets or direct contact with characteristic skin lesions of the infected person.
The itchy blister rash caused by chickenpox appears 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus and usually lasts about five to 10 days.
Other signs and symptoms, which may appear one to two days before the rash, include fever, loss of appetite, headache, tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise).
Once the chickenpox rash appears, it goes through three phases:
* raised pink or red bumps (papules), which break out over several days
* small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), which form in about one day and then break and leak
* crusts and scabs, which cover the broken blisters and take several more days to heal.
New bumps continue to appear for several days, so the patient may have all three stages of the rash — bumps, blisters and scabbed lesions — at the same time.
The disease is generally mild in healthy children. In severe cases, the rash can cover the entire body, and lesions may form in the throat, eyes, and mucous membranes of the urethra, anus and vagina./PN