Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Chickenpox cases are on the rise.

Here's the Channel News Asia report on the rising number of Chickenpox cases in Singapore which was shot right here at Karri Family Clinic last Sunday evening.

Here are the main points and some additional points not covered by the news:
  1. The number of cases of Chickenpox cases in Singapore has risen by 25% over the last year
  2. Many parents are still resistant to vaccinating their children because many believe that it is a "rite of passage" for the child.  However, if you think about it, when you were a kid, everybody had Chickenpox, nowadays, it is no longer universal.  This is because of the introuduction of the Chickenpox vaccine. 
  3. Contrary to popular belief, Chickenpox can sometimes cause complications like brain infections, lung infections and even death. Again contrary to popular belief, Chickenpox does not have to be a "normal" part of life.
  4. The risk of complications in Chickenpox is highest in infants less than one year old and in adults older than 20 years. Adults tend to get a more severe form of the disease.
  5. Some children do still get Chickenpox after the vaccination, but it is important to note that at least 70% to 90% of them don't ever get the disease.  And if they do get the illness, it is very mild and the risk of complications is very much reduced.
  6. Women who are planning to get pregnant should consider getting themselves vaccinated if they have not had chickenpox before.  This is because if they do get chickenpox during the first half of pregnancy, the child has an increased risk of severe deformity.  If they get Chickenpox around the time of delivery, the infant may also develop infantile Chickenpox which can cause death in 31% of infants
  7. Scarring is quite commonly seen after Chickenpox.  Although it is not life threatening, the scars can be prominent and can cause long term emotional distress as seen with the lady in the video.
  8. The side effect of the vaccination is minimal.  Children may get a bit of fever and pain at the injection site. There are some cases where they actually develop a very mild form of Chickenpox following vaccination but this is uncommon.
I hope that these facts will help to clarify your understanding of Chickenpox.  It is important to rely on facts to make decisions that affect your family rather than basing it on hearsay.  If you have other concerns about the Chickenpox, please write in!

I have covered some other points in my previous post on Chickenpox.  Please Click here to read it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Tay,
This is Nurul.. remember me? The girl who came in your clinic from CPG on Wed morning? Just wanted to inform you of the most ironic thing that happened. Remember you were promoting your chicken pox vaccination to me during the consultation? Well, when I headed home afterwards, I started to notice a few red rash-like bumps near my neck and chest areas, and if it wasn't for you bringing up the topic of chicken pox, i would have never thought in a million years about me getting the pox at that particular moment. But bearing in mind what you just informed me, I quickly rushed to the polyclinic just opposite my block to make sure that it is not chicken pox.. but sadly.. the doctor confirmed it was :(
i just thought it was quite an ironic day! haha.. Anyways i'm currently feeling miserable with my chicken pox, being quarantined at home..i wished i had known about the vaccination earlier

Dr Leslie said...

Ha, you should have come right back to the clinic! Anyway, hope you are recovering well. And do remind your family and friends to take the vaccination!