Arua, Uganda | URN | Arua City health officials are investigating a suspected outbreak of Chickenpox, a highly contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
Reports indicate that over 10 cases mainly among children have been reported in Komite, Abirici, and Dadawu cells, all in Ayivu division in Arua city in northern Uganda.
Some of the affected residents have been receiving treatment secretly from local drug shops and clinics in their areas without reporting to relevant authorities.
Elias Mahmud, the in-charge of Risk Communication and Laboratory Services in Arua City told this publication that they have so far received two alerts through the Community based surveillance system.
An infected person presents with an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters on the skin which normally appears 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus and usually lasts about five to 10 days.
Meanwhile, the Principal Health Inspector of Arua City, Godfrey Apangu says, the outbreak of chickenpox has become sporadic in the city, which he says calls for concerted efforts among key stakeholders.
According to Apangu, the infection is mainly spread through person-to-person contact with an infected person but it can also be spread through air if one breaths in particles that come from chickenpox blisters.
He however says there is no need to worry noting that affected persons should only seek immediate treatment.
However, Lucy Anena, in charge of Pajulu Health Center III in Ayivu Division has advised households to isolate the infected persons to prevent the further spread of the disease. She further explains that households need to adopt good hygiene practices.
Chickenpox is highly contagious to people who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it. Most of the victims present with loss of appetite, muscle, and joint aches, cough or running nose, and itchy rashes on their face and body with spots and fluid discharging blisters, which take a week to heal with proper medication.
The suspected outbreak comes barely eleven months after another outbreak of Chickenpox, which affected more than 180 people in Ayiforo and Tanganyika cells in the same division in November last year.