Chicken pox warning to QEH patients

Women who have been to a gynaecology department in West Norfolk have been warned they could have come into contact with chicken pox.Letters have been sent out alerting female gynaecology patients that they may have been in contact with a doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn who has been diagnosed with chicken pox.

Women who have been to a gynaecology department in West Norfolk have been warned they could have come into contact with chicken pox.

Letters have been sent out alerting female gynaecology patients that they may have been in contact with a doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn who has been diagnosed with chicken pox.

The letters have been sent out as a precaution after a senior house officer was taken ill after seeing patients in clinics at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

About 20 women who may have been in contact with the doctor have been sent the letter which says: “If you were in consultation with the doctor for more than 15 minutes and not aware you had chickenpox as a child, or you know you have no immunity to chickenpox, please go to your GP within the next few days for a blood test for chickenpox antibodies.

“If you are found not to have any antibodies you may need an immunoglobulin injection.”

Staff who were on duty on the Castleacre ward, the central delivery suite and in theatres on those two days have also been alerted.

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Midwifery matron Jenny Watkins said: “The main concern has been with pregnant women who may have been in contact with the doctor and who may not have had chickenpox or shingles previously, so the numbers are likely to be low.

“Some of the ladies who received letters have already contacted us and we have been able to given them further information.

“The advice we have been giving is - if in doubt, contact your GP.”

Chickenpox is a highly contagious illness that is common in children. It causes an itching skin rash with blisters.

The disease is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and usually runs its course without problems but can be a problem for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.

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