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Chickenpox Scare at D-Hotel in Drogheda

Chickenpox Scare at D-Hotel in Drogheda


A suspected chickenpox outbreak has occurred at the D-Hotel in Drogheda, where over 200 asylum seekers are staying. The incident has prompted an urgent health warning from Public Health Dublin and North East, which has been sent to all medical staff at hospitals and Doctors On Call in the area. So far, children and one adult have been affected.

In a warning note issued to staff, the HSE stated: “There is a possibility that some individuals with fever rash illness may attend your services – emergency department or out of hours service. The outbreak has affected children and an adult.

“If these residents do attend for clinical consultation, we request that appropriate samples be taken from these individuals in order for accurate diagnosis to inform and guide public health action. For rashes in which varicella (chickenpox) is suspected, we request Serum samples and Skin lesion swabs be taken for PCR testing.” Medical teams have been urged to inform Public Health of suspected cases using their emergency email.

Migrants were moved into the D-Hotel in downtown Drogheda a few months ago, despite objections from local residents. Originally intended to house over 500 people, the number was halved due to planning and fire safety issues. The hotel is currently being used as a transit centre for International Protection Applicants, accommodating families after they arrive in Ireland to claim asylum before moving them to other locations nationwide.

The HSE reports that around 58,000 people on average get chickenpox in Ireland every year. One in every 250 cases ends up being hospitalised. The disease can be serious and cause severe complications and death for people with weak immune systems.

The risk of death from chickenpox is 1 in 100,000 for children but rises to 25.2 per 100,000 for adults, especially those aged 30 to 49. Approximately 1 in 3 people who get chickenpox will develop Shingles later in life due to the reactivation of the virus.

Stay informed and take necessary precautions.

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