Manpox trumps Manful

castaway-1Childhealth recently diagnosed manpox. The partner of one of the marketing strategists – (hang on, not even 100 Facebook likes yet ! what’s she doing ?) – has come down with chickenpox. Over the last week he has been ostracised, left to fend for himself, foraging for food, Castaway style. He is alone. His family texts as It is too hard to listen to the moaning.

One of the most overlooked and completely preventable illnesses, chicken pox continues to be problematic, particularly in adults where the illness tends to be more severe, with higher complications. This Manpox should never have happened.

Back in 2006 Australia (finally) added chicken pox to the immunisation schedule and this has dramatically dropped the incidence of cases. Prior to vaccination 5 -7 people died annually from chicken pox and 5 times that number suffered permanent neurological damage. (If Manpox sufferer is reading this you are fine as the chances are very small! ).

The vaccine is currently given to toddlers at 18 months but only one injection is funded. Two are recommended but the minister for finance reckons we cannot afford a second dose. (All other countries who vaccinate against varicella give two vaccines). So it is up to the parents to get a second injection.

About 10% of adults currently have never had chicken pox. If it is not a childhood memory, or your Mother cannot quite remember it is worth checking by a simple blood test. If there is no evidence of past infection then getting the chicken pox vaccination is superior than succumbing to at least 10 days of misery, loss of income, isolation and potential for scarring or more severe complications. You will need two doses at least 4 weeks apart.

Meanwhile distracted marketing strategist has disappeared interstate which is probably a wise move as I need to speak to her about her strategies.

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