AdventHealth Centra Care reported a 700% increase in patients with chickenpox at its locations over the past two weeks.
Centra Care told News 6 the amount of cases increased from one to seven in the past two weeks. Even though the numbers may not seem like a lot, its pediatricians are still concerned and say this is a weird increase.
Officials with the healthcare provider said in a news release, “since the chickenpox vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in 1995, the number of chickenpox cases has fallen by as much as 90 percent.”
AdventHealth Centra Care officials recommend you call a health care provider if an infected person is older than 12 years of age, has a weakened immune system, is pregnant or if they develop any of the following symptoms:
- Fever that lasts longer than four days
- Fever that rises above 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius)
- Any areas of the rash or any part of the body that becomes very red, warm or tender, or begins leaking pus, since these symptoms may indicate a bacterial infection
- Extreme illness
- Difficult waking up or confused demeanor
- Stiff neck
- Frequent vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
According to AdventHealth Centra Care’s new release:
- Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness and fever. Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adults and people with weakened immune systems. It spreads easily from infected people to others who have never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine. Chickenpox spreads in the air through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters.
- The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. Some people who have been vaccinated against chickenpox can still get the disease. However, the symptoms are usually milder with fewer blisters and mild or no fever. For most people, getting chickenpox once provides immunity for life. Though it is not common, you can get chickenpox more than once.
- Chickenpox most commonly lasts about five to 10 days. The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the face, chest and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs.