April is this year’s graduation month. My college senior students are very excited about it and were jumping for joy when I’ve handed them their class cards with passing grades. It’s confirmed, they’re marching and will soon become full-pledged graduates. I am a very happy teacher because of them.
Sadly though, three of my female students acquired the dreaded chickenpox or “varicella” (or “bulutong” in Filipino) weeks before graduation. This is such a hassle. I know how females prepare for graduation — the choice of dress, shoes, hair style, makeup style and the works! The acquisition of chickenpox and the scars it will leave after dampen quite the spirit of the ladies. I know this for a fact, I was just lucky I had chicken fox when I was just a high school freshman. It was hilarious when my school friends visited me at home when I had chicken fox and decided not to see them and just talk to them behind walls. I don’t want anyone seeing me with those red spots and bad hair days.
No wonder many youngsters opt for vaccination against chickenpox to grow and produce body’s immunity against the virus causing the disease. Interestingly, the varicella vaccine was first licensed in 1988 and used first in Japan and Korea. In 1995, the vaccine was licensed in the United States which resulted to decline in the number of hospitalizations and death from varicella by more than 90 percent.
Although there are people who doubt the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing a vaccinated person from obtaining the virus, the statistics prove otherwise. My brother-in-law, in his effort to protect himself from his family members with chickenpox opted for vaccination and expectantly, he was not infected. For busy persons who do not have time to go to doctors and clinics for vaccination, they simply ask someone to buy the vaccines and keep it in lab ovens so it will not spoil.
Chickenpox is among the “summer diseases” we should watch out for this season. It’s both a threat for children and adults so be careful and keep in mind these simple three (3) easy steps to avoid chickenpox:
- Avoid contact from people with chickenpox because it’s highly contagious.
- Make yourself healthy because having a weak immune system makes you vulnerable to chickenpox.
- Get the vaccine if you can afford it, a vial costs more than one thousand pesos (1,000).
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