Chickenpox Outbreak in United Nations Military Troops in Liberia

Raed M. AL-Smadi

Abstract


Objectives: To study chickenpox outbreak in United Nations military troops of different ethnic groups coming from endemic areas of chickenpox.
Methods: during the period from December 2003 to May 2004, a total of 14 patients with query chickenpox were admitted to the military hospital. The criteria for admission were: the severity of symptoms, poor accommodation facilities, time of arrival to mission area and climatic factors. The diagnosis of this disease was made clinically using these criteria: generalized vesiculo-pustular rash, fever, itching and other prodromal symptoms. The distribution of patients according to home country was made.
Results: All of the fourteen patients were males and their age group ranged from 25-44 years. Seven patients (50%) were from Bangladesh, five (36%) from Namibia, one from Pakistan and one from Nepal. Seven patients had extensive rash, high fever and poor accommodation facilities. Hospitalization period ranged from: 5-10 days, with an average of seven days.
Conclusion: Although chickenpox is a common and trivial disease in childhood where more than 90% of cases occurred before the age of 10 years, still there are many cases which are seen in adulthood with a more complicated and serious course. Hospitalization of the patients is necessary to break the infectivity cycle and to reduce the risk of complications. Early introduction of antiviral agents is recommended.

Keywords


Chickenpox, adults, peacekeeping missions, military troops, United Nations.

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