A Paticipant at the recent concluded International Monetary Fund/World Bank Annual Meetings held in Washington DC, United States, has been diagnosed with chickenpox.
The Secretary of IMF, Jianhai Lin, disclosed this in a statement on Friday, citing a letter from the Washington DC Department of Health, signed by John O. Davies-Cole, State Epidermiologist, Centre for policy, planning and Evaluation Administration, D.C. that the IMF and World Bank Group have been informed by the Washington, D.C., Department of Health that a participant at the recent Annual Meetings has been diagnosed with chickenpox.
“We are sharing with you a letter from the DC Department of Health, along with a Fact Sheet on chickenpox and guidance on how to protect yourself against infection,’’ he said.
The letter reads: ” A case of chickenpox was recently reported at the 2019 IMF & WBG Annual Meetings which took place from October 14th to October 20th, 2019.
“Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This virus is spread from person-to-person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing.
A person with chickenpox is generally contagious one to two days before the rash appears and until all the blisters have formed scabs.Symptoms of chickenpox may include: high fever, severe itching, an uncomfortable blister- like rash, and tiredness. Adults, infants, pregnant women in their first trimester or early second trimester who have never had chickenpox, adolescents, and people with weak immune systems from either illnesses or from medications such as long-term steroids are more likely to have more serious illness with complications.
The incubation period (how soon the symptoms would appear) is 14-16 days from thetime of exposure but can be as long as 21 days. For your exposure, this time period will end on Sunday, November 10, 2019.
“The individual has indicated attendance of meetings only at IMF Headquarters 1 Building (HQ1) located at 720 19th Street NW Washington, DC 20431 on Oct. 17-19. Meeting participants who were in IMF HQ1 Oct. 17-19 should monitor themselves for symptoms and notify their personal health care providers with any concerns during the exposure time period through November 10, 2019.
The chickenpox (VZV) vaccine is one of the best methods of preventing future infection, although will not prevent infection from this potential current exposure. The chickenpox vaccine may be obtained from your personal health care provider.If you develop any symptoms of chickenpox infection, please call a health care provider immediately and inform them of your possible exposure to chickenpox before you arrive at the health care facility. If you have any questions, please contact Saada Soubagleh, Disease Investigator in the DC Health Division of Epidemiology-Disease Surveillance and Investigation at (202) 442-9371.