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15 Nov 2018 | 07:27 AM UTC

Peru: Chickenpox outbreaks

Abnormally high chickenpox case rates in Peru in 2018, notably in Lima, La Libertad, and Piura regions



According to the Ministry of Health, nearly 546,000 cases of chickenpox were reported nationwide in the first nine months of 2018. Furthermore, the president of the Peruvian Pediatric Society has warned that many cases have likely gone unreported. The highest case rates have occurred in the regions of Lima (164,292), La Libertad (32,203), and Piura (37,382).

These official case rates are abnormally high; this is in part due to improved reporting and in part due to an influx in migrants from Venezuela, among other factors.


Chickenpox is a contagious infection that appears on the skin of an infected individual ten to 21 days after exposure. The virus typically lasts about five to ten days. The rashes on the skin may be accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, headache, and tiredness. The virus typically affects children but can be particularly dangerous in adult cases.


Individuals in or planning travel to Peru are advised to ensure their vaccinations are up to date and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the abovementioned symptoms is urged to seek medical attention.

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