Chicken pox no longer a 'must-get' disease for children

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Kenyan parents no longer have to worry about their children suffering from chicken pox. Unlike before, when the viral disease was a common occurrence, today it is not such a common diseases thanks to vaccines, medication and immunization.

“The vaccinations and immunization have given children strong immunity,” said Betty Mutio, a pediatrician at a local hospital. “Before, if there was an outbreak of chicken pox, children under the age of ten would be the most affected but that is no longer the case.”

Chicken pox has long been sees as a ‘must-get’ disease for every child and if one does not get it as a child then they will get it as an adult.

“When my child was eight year old, her cousins, who were her age mates had the disease but not her,” said Irene Ouko. “I was worried that she had not contracted the disease yet which I had thought every child must get.

“Her brother had contracted it while at that age from a class mate so I knew it was just a matter of time before little spots appeared on her body. I would encourage her to spend time with her cousins and friends who had the disease so that we could speed up the process of her getting sick but she did not contract it.”

“Chicken pox is a disease that is spread through contact,” said Dr Wanyoike, a pediatrician based in Hurlingham, Nairobi. “But it is not a must that if you come in contact with anyone who has it, that you will get it and if you do not get it as a child, it does not mean you will get it as an adult.”

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