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Be on the lookout for chickenpox

Following a string of chickenpox cases north of Gympie, families are being urged to remain cautious
Following a string of chickenpox cases north of Gympie, families are being urged to remain cautious AnaDiana

AFTER a number of cases of chickenpox and shingles in the Maryborough and Fraser Coast Region, families in Gympie are being urged to keep an eye out.

More than 30 patient cases have been recorded in the area recently, and although local numbers are nowhere near that high.

"Varicella is always circulating in our area, and is a vaccine preventable disease,” Dr Shaun Hosein from the Public Health Unit at Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service said.

"We have had between 13 to 16 cases per week over the past month and a year-to-date total of 666, which is higher than the five years total of 515.

Over the past six weeks, less than 10 cases were reported from the Gympie area.

"We are not aware of any outbreaks in the Gympie area, but the Fraser Coast 'border' is close to Gympie and some people from that area would access health services in Gympie,” Dr Hosein said.

Varicella vaccine is part of the childhood schedule and Dr Hosein advised local parents to have their children vaccinated to prevent chickenpox.

If unwell, it is important to note that Varicella is highly contagious.

Dr Hosein said if patients were seeking assistance from their GP, to advise them of the condition before making an appointment.

Topics:  chickenpox fraser coast gympie health sunshine coast hospital and health service

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