//Chickenpox outbreak in Madurai prison

Chickenpox outbreak in Madurai prison

21 inmates admitted to Government hospital in the last two days

# 28 convicts quarantined
# Treatment to continue for two weeks
# Outbreak is "unusual"
# Disease could have come through "external contact"

MADURAI: The outbreak of chickenpox in the Madurai Central Prison has put the jail authorities and health department officials on alert.

With five inmates being admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Thoppur near here on Saturday, the total number of convicts affected by the viral disease rose to 21. Sixteen of them were undergoing treatment on Friday.

On detection of the symptoms of the disease, the jail authorities quarantined 28 convicts of a block. Medical investigation confirmed the occurrence of chicken pox.

Medical Officer in-charge of IDH S. Chandrasekar said treatment for the inmates would continue for two weeks.

The doctors see the outbreak as unusual as it is not a chicken pox season.

External cause

Jail officials suspect that the disease was contracted through new inmates or convicts who were on parole. The authorities continued to administer anti-viral drugs to the suspected cases.

Shastry V Mallady and S. Sundar, Hindu, Jan 22,2006