The Ministry of Health has urged parents whose children have been quarantined for suspected chicken pox at Kafue Boys Secondary School to isolate them after the closure of the school yesterday to avoid spreading the disease. Ministry of Health spokesperson Abel Kabalo said in an interview that two pupils have been quarantined for suspected chicken pox at Kafue Mission Clinic.
“Clinically, the rash looks like chicken pox but we are still waiting for laboratory results to confirm the suspicions,” he said. Dr Kabalo said as schools close today, the pupils should be kept in isolation until they recover. “It is even better that the schools are closing today to prevent a further outbreak of the disease among pupils.
“As the pupils return home, parents should ensure that they isolate their children and monitor them,” he said. He said the Ministry of Health has heighted its surveillance and will continue monitoring the situation at the school. Dr Kabalo said the ministry has no control over viral diseases and all it can do is heighten its surveillance and respond quickly whenever there is an outbreak.
He said there is no need for the pupils and parents to be alarmed because the situation has been brought under control. The outbreak of the suspected chicken pox at the school has forced management at the institution to cancel holiday tuitions. The holiday tuitions are usually held in the first two weeks of the holiday.
It is suspected that one of the pupils could have reported to school after catching the disease from home or it could have been spread to the school by parents who visited their children. Chicken pox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious infection caused by varicella zoster virus.
Although uncomfortable, most people recover within one to two weeks.
Those with the disease have a blister-like rash, which first appears on the face and trunk, and then spreads throughout the body. It is not a life-threatening infection.