Geoghagen, M. ; Pierre, Russell B. ; Evans-Gilbert, Tracy ; Rodriguez, B. ; Christie, Celia D.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health
Tuberculosis, Chickenpox and Scabies Outbreaks in an Orphanage for Children with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to describe the investigation and management of outbreaks of acute tuberculosis, varicella zoster virus and scabies in a residential facility for children with HIV/AIDS. METHOD: A review of the results and management for diagnosed cases of acute TB (four between 2001 and 2002) as well as varicella zoster virus (15) and scabies (14) (concurrent in March-June 2003), in a residential facility housing 24 abandoned children with HIV/AIDS was conducted. Outbreak control methods and challenges are described The modified WHO criteria were used for TB diagnosis. The diagnoses of varicella and scabies were entirely clinical. RESULTS: Of the surviving 22 children, 12 (mean age 8 years 2 months) were female, and 10 (mean age 5 years 6 months) were male. Full immunization (primary series) was documented for 16 children, partial in one child, unknown status was documented in five children. One child had received varicella vaccine previously. Eleven (50%) children had been receiving antiretroviral triple therapy since 2002 (all in Centers for Diseases Control immunological categories 2-3). Two of the four children with tuberculosis died between 2001 and 2002; these were not on antiretroviral therapy--the 2 survivors are still on antiretroviral therapy. All staff Mantoux Test results were negative. Fifteen (68%) children developed chickenpox as well as three caregivers. The index case was a 13-year-old resident attending a nearby school with HIV negative children. This varicella outbreak went on to affect household members for the caregivers as well as other residential facilities nearby. Scabies affected 14 children (no caregivers); the index cases were most likely three new child residents who entered the institution in 2002 (from other homes) with histories of scabies infestation. Chickenpox and scabies dual infection occurred in seven (31%) of residents. No cases of herpes zoster, disseminated varicella infection or death because of varicella occurred. Diagnosed cases of chickenpox were treated with oral acyclovir. Knowledge about these disease outbreaks and their control was generally lacking. CONCLUSIONS: Improvement in immunization coverage for children and staff as well as educating staff about infectious disease outbreaks, is necessary for effective control. Appropriate screening for infection/disease for all susceptible persons is essential along with timely reporting of outbreaks/reportable diseases. There is need for increased awareness of acute opportunistic infections in children with HIV/AIDS living in close proximity.....