According to the data of the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, 37,037 cases of chickenpox were recorded in Poland from the beginning of January to the end of October this year. In 2020, in the same period, there were 63,398 of them.
Experts argue that the decrease in the number of smallpox cases is related to, inter alia, with restrictions introduced in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, which result in limiting interpersonal contacts, wearing masks and increased social distance.
Smallpox is one of the most contagious infectious diseases. The most common source of infection is direct contact with the patient and the droplet route. The main symptoms of smallpox are: itchy, maculo-vesicular rash on the trunk, face, scalp, limbs, mucous membranes, fever, malaise, headache and muscle pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
Serious complications may occur in a few percent of patients. The most common are bacterial skin infections that can cause disfiguring scars, neurological symptoms (inflammation of the cerebellum, brain or meninges), and acute thrombocytopenia. The chickenpox vaccine contains a live, weakened (attenuated) strain of the virus. The chickenpox vaccine is given subcutaneously in two doses.
Main photo source: Shutterstock