The common chickenpox is typically benign childhood illness that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV) which is which is a member of the family known as herpes. The virus is responsible for two distinct illnesses: varicella (chickenpox) is the main infection, and , later, when VSV is reactivated, it causes the herpes virus (shingles).
It is extremely contagious and can be spread through coughing and sneezing. This can be done through directly touching and through the airborne transmission of the virus through skin lesions. You may also contract it through contact with salivary glands of the shingles.
The illness is manifested by an achy, red itchy skin rash. It typically begins on the back, abdomen or face, and it spreads to all areas that make up the body. The rash appears as tiny red bumps which appear like pimples or bites from insects. Then, they transform into small, thin-walled blisters which are full of clear fluid, which are able to collapse when punctured. The blisters eventually break then crusts and creates dried brown scabs.
The chickenpox lesions can appear at different stages of maturation and tend to be more prevalent on skin that is covered rather than those that are exposed. The lesions can also be seen inside the mouth the upper respiratory tract, and in the genitals.
It is contagious for a period of two days before the rash appears and lasts until the lesions have completely coated with a crust (usually around five days).
This illness is more dangerous for adults than children. Chickenpox complications are uncommon however they can include pneumonia, encephalitis and other secondary infections with bacteria.
The virus typically confers immunity for life, but it has been known that there are second attacks in patients with immunocompromised bodies. The infection is inactive, and the disease could be recur several years later, as shingles.
To stop the spread of this infection in children the vaccine was approved to be used in 1995. Doctors suggest that children receive the vaccine between the ages of 12 and 15 and then get a booster age 4 to 6. This vaccine works in stopping mild infections with as high as 85 percent of children. It also prevents severe cases in as high as 90 percent of children. Children who receive the vaccine are still susceptible to chickenpox but with less severe symptoms.
Certain people shouldn’t be vaccinations for chickenpox particularly pregnant women. It is best to wait to receive the vaccine until the birth, or shouldn’t become pregnant until after 1-3 months following vaccination.
For children over 13 and for adults who’ve never been a victim of chickenpox, the vaccine is best administered in two doses, at minimum 28 days between each other.
Additionally, people who have an immune system that is suppressed because of a condition (HIV/AIDS) or therapy (cancer therapy or steroids) must talk to their doctor prior to receiving immunized.
If your child has chickenpox, it is possible to help ease the discomfort associated from this condition by following the steps below:
o Apply cool wet compresses, or baths with cool or lukewarm water each 3 to 4 hours for the first couple of days. Oatmeal baths, found in the pharmacy or at the grocery store are a great way to ease itching. (Baths are not a way to spread chickenpox.)
or Applying (not rub) your body to dry.
Applying calamine lotion to areas of itching (but do not apply it to the face, specifically around eye area).
• Feed your child food that are soft, cold and bland, as an outbreak of chickenpox could cause drinking or eating to be difficult. Do not feed your child anything that is acidic or particularly salty like pretzels or orange juice.
o Talk to your physician or pharmacist for creams for pain relief that you can apply to sores on the genital region.
o Give your child regular acetaminophen to relieve pain your child suffers from mouth blisters.
Consult your physician to prescribe an over-the-counter medicine to treat itching.
Avoid using aspirin for reducing fever or pain for children suffering from chickenpox since aspirin has been linked to the severe disease known as Reye’s syndrome which could lead to liver failure and death.
As much as you can keep children from scratching. This could be hard for kids, and you should you should consider placing mittens or socks on your child’s hands to stop them from scratching while sleeping. Additionally, trim fingernails regularly and keep them clean to reduce the negative effects of scratching. This includes fractured blisters as well as infection.