Concern Grows as Chickenpox Outbreak in Aenaung Pale Village Persists for 3 Months

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Reports indicate that a chickenpox outbreak, which originated in January in Aenaung Pale village, located in the western part of Demoso Township, Karenni State, persists and continues to spread. This marks the first recorded instance of chickenpox in the village, and its prolonged duration is of significant concern, as expressed by a local schoolteacher.

The schoolteacher described the pattern of the outbreak: “When a child at school is exposed to this disease, they start with a fever. Then, itchy blisters appear. Gradually, it spreads to other children in the school. Sometimes, entire classes have to be closed due to its rapid spread. We thought this would be over by the end of the school year, but even now, we still see cases here and there, even among children over a year old.”

Locals report that the village clinic lacks the necessary medication to treat chickenpox, forcing residents to rely on basic medications like paracetamol.

As entire families have been infected, a mother expressed her distress regarding the impact of chickenpox on her family. “It’s heartbreaking to see them suffer from this disease. We worry about where to get medicine and where the nearest hospital is. When my eldest son got infected, he would cry at night, saying ‘Mommy, it hurts.’ It’s difficult to bear.”

A village health worker highlighted the severity of the outbreak, stating that the blisters mostly appear in warm areas like the groin and armpits, and some individuals even have them in their eyes. Each blister is painful and hot, making it hard for young children to endure.

“We’re worried because we can’t get medicine, and the infection keeps spreading. We need to find the root cause, as even when children don’t attend school, the infection still spreads,” the health worker added.

Aenaung Pale village, with over 80 households, including those displaced by conflict, predominantly sees children under 18 affected by the chickenpox outbreak. However, it has now started spreading to adults as well.

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