As mercury rises in the Indian capital of New Delhi, so does the incidence of chickenpox. After a spurt in cases of viral fever, it is chicken pox that is keeping the city's doctors busy now.
The increase in chickenpox cases is especially worrying for school children taking their examinations. "Children from four school are coming here to give their exams. We had two children who were suffering from chicken pox. We made special seating arrangements for these children and isolated them," said Usha Ram, principal of Laxman Public School.
Chicken pox is a viral infection that spreads from person to person through air. The initial symptoms of the disease are fever, skin rash, and a breakout of fluid-filled blisters on the skin.
Those who have taken vaccination for chickenpox are unlikely to catch the infection or will be down with a mild case and will recover faster.
"For adults who have not had chicken pox, it is advisable to get vaccinated immediately as the infection can be very severe in adulthood. If someone you know has chicken pox, avoid coming in close contact of the patient till the infection subsides," said Dr Bir Singh, Professor of community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, 1,250 cases of chicken pox have already been reported in the city. "This is a pre- summer disease and is expected around this time of the year," said Dr VK Monga, Chairman of MCD's Health Committee.
He too warned against adults catching the infection and said those who have not yet had chicken pox should get vaccinated immediately to avoid getting infected, the Hindustan Times reports.
Though chickenpox is usually mild, it can be serious or even fatal in adults and young infants. It can lead to severe skin infection, breathing problems, brain damage, or death.