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State epidemiological surveillance issues warnings about cases of chickenpox

State epidemiological surveillance issues warnings about cases of chickenpox

Photo: Freepik

In view of the period of seasonality of varicella (chickenpox) and the increased reporting of outbreaks of the disease in school units in some municipalities of the State of Bahia, the Minister of Health of the State of Bahia (CESAP), through the Directorate of Epidemiology and Surveillance, Tuesday (15), issued an alert to the municipalities in Bahia to take action To prevent and control disease.

The document also indicates that the entire health network should provide immediate notification of suspected cases of chickenpox to municipal and state health authorities (epidemiological surveillance).

Among the measures to be taken is to stay at home until the pests develop into scabs; Vaccine blockades (selective vaccination of people with no previous vaccination history), which should cover contacts of suspected or confirmed cases of chickenpox in daycare centers, schools, hospital environments and Indigenous communities; ramping up routine vaccination, with an active search for unvaccinated children; Monitoring the emergence of new cases.

According to the alert, there is no indication that school activities will be suspended, and specific measures must be adopted for children who have been in contact with suspected and confirmed cases.

The warning also describes that low immunization coverage presents an imminent risk of outbreaks and severe cases of chickenpox in the state and a consequent increase in hospitalizations. This scenario justifies the need to intensify healthcare and surveillance measures to prevent serious cases and deaths, and recommends that municipalities notify cases and outbreaks, as well as assess routine vaccination coverage to actively seek out those at risk of measles in eligible age groups.

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In 2023, up to epidemiological week 32 (until 12/08), 443 cases of chickenpox were reported, with an incidence coefficient of 3.0 cases/100,000 inhabitants in the state of Bahia. The highest incidence was among children under 1 year of age (16.19 cases/100 000 population), followed by the 1- to 4-year range (8.69 cases/100 000 population).

Through May 2023, the state has achieved 49.88% coverage for chickenpox monovalent, less than the recommended target for disease control (greater than or equal to 95%), according to Tabnet/Datasus

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