By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula, is reporting an increase in chickenpox cases during the first two months of the year, according to a report from the National Epidemiological Surveillance System (Sinave).

chickenpox Image/CDC

Through the end of February, 58 cases have been reported, higher than neighboring states Yucatán, Tabasco, and Campeche.

Chickenpox (varicella) is easily passed from one person to another through the air by coughing or sneezing or through the fluid from a blister of a person who has chickenpox.  Although it is usually not a serious illness, it often causes children and their parents to miss days at school and work. Most cases of chickenpox in healthy children are treated with bed rest, fluids, and fever control.

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Chickenpox can be more severe and cause more complications in immunocompromised persons, children younger than 1 year of age and adults. Severe complications include bacterial skin infections, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (infection of the brain) and death.

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It is important to be aware that even healthy children and adults may develop serious complications and die from varicella. Another high-risk group is pregnant women who, if they become ill with varicella, can have pregnancy complications. Not only is chickenpox painful, but once you have been infected with chickenpox, you are at risk of getting shingles later in life, which is also very painful and can cause lasting chronic pain in adults.

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The chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent becoming ill and spreading the varicella virus. It is very safe and prevents almost all cases of severe illness.