Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Outbreak Control of Occupationally Acquired Varicella in Tertiary Care Health Care Setting
vijay Bhatti, vijay Bhatti

Last modified: 2018-08-18



Adult and immuno-comprised patients suffering from Varicella (chicken pox) are potential source of infection to healthcare workers. Nosocomial infection of varicella is known and outbreaks among healthcare workers are known. An outbreak of varicella among healthcare in a tertiary care centre was investigated and preventive measures were implemented.

Materials and methods

Cases of chicken pox between the period of 05 Feb 2017 and 11 Feb 2017 in a tertiary healthcare establishment were investigated. An epidemiological investigation by developing case definitions, spot map and contact tracing was conducted. A total of 08 cases were identified among healthcare workers. Suitable preventive measures including identification of susceptible contacts (unimmunized and without any history of natural infection of varicella) and vaccination of susceptibles with two doses of Varicella vaccine was undertaken.


The index case was a 21 year old nurse who was exposed to a 34 year old male patient transferred from a secondary care hospital on 24 Jan 2017 as a case of Varicella with Acute Liver failure and Coagulopathy. Among the total 08 cases identified in the outbreak, 02 occurred among healthcare workers of secondary care centre where the primary case was initially treated, 03 among the healthcare workers who managed the primary case in intensive care unit and 03 among the healthcare workers who conducted the autopsy. A total of 181 contacts were identified in the epidemiological investigation and 54 were susceptible to chicken pox. Two dose immunization with varicella vaccination of susceptibles was found to be effective in preventing further cases.


Two dose vaccination of healthcare workers with varicella vaccine is an effective strategy to prevent nosocomial varicella among healthcare workers.

Keywords: Varicella, Outbreak, Healthcare workers, Vaccination