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Clade 9: New variant of chickenpox virus detected in India, know symptoms and prevention tips

The sudden increase of chicken pox Clade 9 cases in India highlights the significance of awareness and preventive measures.

Kristina Das Written By: Kristina Das New Delhi Published on: September 13, 2023 18:41 IST
clade 9
Image Source : FREEPIK Know the symptoms and prevention tips for Clade 9, new variant of chickenpox.

India has recently witnessed the emergence of a new strain that causes chickenpox known as Clade 9. The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology scientists have discovered the Clade 9 dominant version of the monkeypox-causing varicella-zoster virus (VZV) during the country's study of chickenpox cases. The first case was detected in the Kozhikode district of Kerala. Clade 1 to 5 variants were previously frequent in Indian adults and children. In the US, the UK, and Germany, the Clade 9 variety is widespread. Health authorities are concerned about this variation because of its potential for fast dissemination. As per Dr Neeraj Kumar Tulara - General Medicine & Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, it is essential to control its spread to understand the symptoms and take preventive measures. 

Symptoms of Clade 9 Chickenpox 

The symptoms of Clade 9 are similar to those of more prevalent strains, but they also have a few unique features. The main symptoms of Clade 9 include the development of itchy, red patches that subsequently grow into blisters filled with fluid. These skin irritations are frequently accompanied by other symptoms like fever, headache, loss of appetite, body ache, and a general feeling of malaise. However, Clade 9 due to its propensity for more serious occurrences. Some people have higher fever symptoms and the blisters can be more widespread and concentrated. Complications like bacterial skin infections, pneumonia, or encephalitis could occur in extreme cases. Prevention Measures Vaccination: Getting vaccinated is the most reliable and safest method of protecting against chickenpox, especially for new variants like Clade 9. Anyone who is not vaccinated and never had chickenpox should think about obtaining the chicken pox vaccine as a priority. It significantly decreases the likelihood of catching the virus and lessens the severity of the disease if contracted. 

Maintain Personal Hygiene: The risk of transmission Clade 9 heavily depends on the maintenance of personal hygiene. Frequently handwashing with soap and water reduces the risk of infection, especially after contacting any potentially contaminated surfaces. 

Isolation of Affected Individuals: It is very important if someone has been detected with Clade 9 or any variant of chicken pox to get isolated so that the spread of the virus can be stopped further at a personal level. Avoiding contact with others is essential, especially for those who are more susceptible. 

Avoiding Crowded Places: It is advised to stay away from crowded places during the high spread periods because the infection can be spread quickly. Public transportation, shopping malls, etc. are places where this applies.

Covering Mouth and Nose: When the infected person sneezes or coughs, ask them to cover their mouth with a mask, tissue, hanky, or elbow so that airborne dispersion of virus-containing droplets can be prevented. Disinfecting 

Frequently Touched Surfaces: It's very important to clean and sanitize doorknobs, light switches, and worktops regularly as there is a high risk of transmission on these surfaces.

Seeking Medical Advice: It is very important to take medical care right once you notice any symptoms of clade 9 chicken pox. Effective diagnosis and treatment can help in managing and preventing the complications of the illness if diagnosed early. 

The sudden increase of chicken pox Clade 9 cases in India highlights the significance of awareness and preventive measures. People can help in stopping the spread of this infection by taking necessary precautions and being aware of the symptoms. The primary and effective method of prevention is getting vaccinated. To safeguard everyone's health, it is very important for people to cooperate and take preventive actions to stop the spread.

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