Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chickenpox: Complications do occur, Parents please vaccinate your kids!

I had hope that I would never have to see a severe chickenpox case but it was only a matter of time before it happened.

This boy came to the clinic today with severe Chickenpox which had gotten infected. What is more serious is that he was also complaining of neck stiffness. So I had to send them immediately to KKH to investigate for possible Chickenpox meningitis.

To all parents who are reading this post. Please don't think that Chickenpox is something every child needs to get. If this child had been given the Chickenpox vaccine, there is a good chance that he would never get Chickenpox and in the 20% of cases where they still get Chickenpox after vaccination, it would never have gotten to this stage of severity.

I am following the case closely. If the KKH doctors also suspect meningitis, then they would do a lumbar puncture where a long needle is inserted into the lower back to extract some of the cerebro-spinal fluid to confirm if the virus has infected the brain. Please pray that this is not the case. Chickenpox meningitis can sometimes leave the child with some long term side effects with regards to mental ability.

Concerning the booster dose for Chickenpox. I have already written about this in my previous post. The 2nd dose of Chickenpox vaccine is currently the standard practise in the US, but the practise is not yet adopted in Singapore. Parents can still opt for a booster dose after the first dose in order to give your child a higher level of protection.

Again, parents, please be aware of this and make a wise decision for your child based on facts and not on hearsay.

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