Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Chickenpox is spreading its tentacles in College Ward of Barijhola village in Rayagada district with more than 20 children being infected with the contagious disease.

As per experts, chickenpox, an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, mostly affects children, and the chances of contracting the infection are high between January and June. It is a highly infectious disease mainly caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which spreads in a similar way as cold and other flu. As the ongoing season is conducive to the virus, people need to be extremely careful and immediately undergo treatment once they are affected by the disease.

However, the residents of Barijhola are reluctant to go to the medical due to lack of proper awareness about the highly contagious disease. They are resorting to various superstitious methods to cure their children which could turn fatal for them.

“The disease is spreading at a faster pace. Mostly children are suffering from severe body ache and high fever due to the disease. More than 20 children in our village have been affected by the disease so far,” said Kameswari Swain, a villager.

However, the villagers are reluctant to go to the hospital for treatment of the affected children.

“The disease will not be cured by taking medicines as it is caused by ‘Thakurani’(the Goddess). It will be cleared by appeasing the Thakurani (Goddess) only. So, there is no need to go to the hospital,” said Mangulu Swain, another villager.

Meanwhile, the State Health Department has no information about the outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the area.

“We had no information about the spread of chickenpox in the area as I was not present. I just came to know about the outbreak of the disease now. Proper measures will be taken immediately to curb the disease following an inspection in the area,” said Rayagada Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Lalmohan Routray.