119 students catch chickenpox in two schools Upper Egypt
School in Sohag- Youm7

CAIRO: A total of 119 students in two primary schools have contracted chickenpox in Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate, according to a statement from the education directorate in the governorate Saturday.

The Bayt Khalaf school, locates in Gerga town of the governorate, recorded 104 infected cases and 15 other cases were from al-Bawarik school, the statement added.

In the Red Sea governorate, 32 students in the primary school had the virus , the ministry announced Thursday.  Meanwhile, in Aswan (Upper Egypt,) 30 infected cases were reported Wednesday. All infected students were ordered to stay at homes to stop the spread of the virus among the students.

The varicella virus, commonly known as chickenpox, is transmitted via contact of bodily fluids as well as through the air, and appears as a rash on infected skin. Most persons contract the virus before they reach 10 years old, according to the World Health Organization (WHO.)

The Ministry of Health spokesperson told a talk show Thursday the varicella vaccination is not compulsory in the schools and the WHO has not listed it a compulsory vaccine.

The Health Minister’s aide Amr Qandil yold Youm7 that 1,075 cases of chickenpox were reported in 2014, noting that 30,000 vaccine doses at a cost of 5.7 million EGP (around $746,000) will be released soon in pharmacies.

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