Chickenpox afflicts schoolkids in Fujairah

FUJAIRAH — While school examinations are not very far off, schools and parents in the eastern region of Fujairah voice deep concern at the increasing cases of the contagious chickenpox among school students.

By Salah Al Debarky

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Published: Sun 7 May 2006, 11:28 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:36 PM

Parents are specifically worried as the period that precedes the final examinations will be of critical importance for their children.

Symptoms of chickenpox include skin rashes accompanied with high fever.

Aiysha Abdullah said that her daughter Khoula, a secondary school student, was infected with the disease and the doctor advised her to stay at home for a week. She added that she could hardly convince her daughter to keep away from school.

“The real problem is that there is no vaccination to protect our children at a time when they need to concentrate on their studies and revise before examinations,” she noted.

Expressing his shock at seeing some infected students while he was taking his children to their school, Ali Ibrahim Al Ka’abi said that he had no option but to carry them back home. “Where is the vaccination against this disease which is available and some countries administer it free of charge? I have discovered, to my surprise that there is no vaccination for this disease at government health centres. I went to private clinics to find out the same truth — there is no vaccination,” he explained.

He appealed to health authorities to step in and handle the matter, noting that no school in the Northern Emirates is free of this disease.

Responding to public complaints, Dr Nabil Al Marhoumi, Director of Preventive Medicine Department in Fujairah, confirmed the availability of a vaccination, but said that it should be given after the infection within a period of not more that three days. But doctors and specialists say the disease is very simple as skin rashes appear two to three days before the real infection. According to them, this makes it very difficult to diagnose it. They warn that vaccination could cause a health problem if it is given at a later stage. For this, they say the vaccination should be given in specific and limited cases, and it is absolutely unnecessary to use it as a general preventive measure. They note that ‘once in a lifetime’ infection at childhood is not very dangerous, unlike that at a later stage.

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