May
30
2013

Essay: Varicella index case in the oncology ward

Varicella virus vaccine has been developed as a preventive measure for varicella infection. It is usually recommended between 1-12 years of age. Although vaccine is usually administered between 12-18 months of age, it is not necessary in children who have a history of varicella infection. Vaccine usually provides immunity for 10 years (CDC, 2007).

If there is an infected individual in the ward, he should be kept in complete isolation till all the lesions on the body have crusted and he is no more infectious. Good hygienic conditions are essential to control the spread throughout the ward. All the contacts should wear gloves and aprons but face mask is not necessary. The health care staff taking care of the patient should have immunity against varicella. Only those individuals who have a history of varicella infection should be allowed to meet or keep in contact with the patient till he is infectious. Close contacts are defined as those individuals who are household members, have contact for more than 15 mins in the same room or face to face contact of more than 5 mins (Chickenpox- Shingles (Varicella- Zoster Virus Infections): Prevention and Control).

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