Chickenpox – Netherlands The

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A large number of children in the Netherlands have recently contracted chickenpox. Based on the data of general practitioners, the institute estimated that in the first months of 2022, four to five times more Dutch children will fall ill with chickenpox than in the same period of 2021.

The results of the study mainly concern children aged zero to four years, while children aged five to 15 years are also susceptible to the disease. Already, children get chickenpox twice as often as they did a year ago. Because of anti-Covid measures – school closures and the introduction of social distancing rules – many infectious diseases were almost non-existent in 2020 and 2021. With the easing of restrictions in early 2022, these diseases have been able to spread better.

Currently, about 150 confirmed cases of chickenpox per 100,000 inhabitants are reported weekly among toddlers in the Netherlands. This is the data of hundreds of family doctors. There are, however, children whose parents allow to get sick at home and do not call a doctorChickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious disease caused by infection with varicella zoster virus. Chickenpox occurs in all parts of the world.

The disease results in a characteristic skin rash that forms small, itchy blisters, which eventually scab over. Initially on the chest, back, and face. Later it then spreads to the rest of the body. Other symptoms are flu like with fever and tiredness.

Complications may occasionally occur and include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, and bacterial skin infections. The disease is often more severe in adults than in children.

Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily from one person to the next through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. It may even be spread from one to two days before the rash appears. People usually only get chickenpox once.

A vaccine is recommended in many countries for children and protects about 70 to 90 percent of people from disease with a good protection for severe disease. Some parents deliberately expose their children to the virus, by taking them to chickenpox parties. Getting the vaccine is much safer, since it is a weakened form of the virus. An actual chickenpox infection can be fatal.

How the term chickenpox originated is not clear but it may be due the rash resembling chicken pecks or the idea that the disease may have originated in chickens.

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