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Chickenpox patients hit record high, raising caution for young children

The number of chickenpox patients has hit a record high, raising concerns for the upcoming spring semester as the infectious disease is known to spread among infants and elementary school students.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention received reports of 13,661 patients with chickenpox in January and February as of Monday. This number exceeds the 10,886 cases reported for the first two months of 2018. At the current rate, KCDC predicts the number of patients to hit a record high in 2019, possibly surpassing the 100,000 mark. 


Children aged five to nine showed the most diagnosis with 6,915 patients, infants till the age of four came second with 3,234 and children between ages 10 to 15 ranked third with 2,462 diagnoses. The number of cases of older age groups came to 100.

Health Authorities encouraged parents to check their children’s vaccination status before the start of the school semester. People should regularly wash their hands with soap and cover their mouths with sleeves when coughing to prevent the disease from spreading.

Patients diagnosed with chickenpox show symptoms such as fever, malaise, and loss of appetite followed by skin rashes and blisters. If infected, patients should refrain from being in contact with others until scabs form on the blisters.

By Lee Tae-hee (