Chickenpox is an infectious disease which causes a mild fever and a rash of itchy inflamed pimples which later turn to blisters and then loose scabs.
It is caused by the varicella zoster virus and mainly affects children and adults who have weak immune system.
Some of the infected children with chicken pox have only a few spots, but others with chicken pox have sports which covers their entire body.
The spots mostly appear on their faces, the ears, scalp, underarms and arms, chest, belly and legs.
Chicken pox is medically known as varicella and it spread easily but quickly from an infected person.
It is also more common in children below 10 years old.
Chicken pox symptoms (symptoms of chickenpox)
Symptoms of chicken pox include a rash on the body and face which later spreads to scalps and limbs. It can easily spread in the mouth and genitals and which is usually very itchy.
Firstly, chicken pox starts with red spots which later turn into blisters, and in days (1-2 days) it turns into scabs. The blister will continue to appear from 4-5 days. There is no specific amount of blister that appears on the body from chickenpox, because it varies in every person with chicken pox.
Another common symptom of chicken pox is high temperature of the infected person, but it’s mild temperature in children. Chicken pox can last 10-20 days for children, then longer for adults with chicken pox, and adults who are infected usually feel very ill and can suffer complications.
Some of the unusual chicken pox symptoms are the skin around the blisters starts turning red and really painful. Some heavy pain in the chest and also find it difficult in breathing, cold hands and feet and drowsiness.
Chicken pox treatment (treatment of chicken pox)
Treatment of chickenpox is done by easing the symptoms, and infected persons should be contained.
They should stay away from the public, preferable stay at home until it subsides or until the blisters have stopped appearing and have scabs.
One of the hardest part is to stop scratching. Because it is very itchy you might be tempted to always scratch but you stand the risk of infections, wearing hand gloves would help and also short nails.
To help relieve the itching use Calamine lotion.
Heat and sweat makes the itching really worse when they have chicken pox, it is preferably to keep the sufferer in not too cold or too hot surrounding.
In the case of chickenpox with serious itching which prevents sleeping use Antihistamine medicines. Antihistamine medicine is for allergic reactions. Also, chickenpox for adults with weak immune systems can use Zovirax tablets (Acyclovir) which are good for chickenpox. This should be used 24hrs when the rash appears.
Chicken pox vaccine (vaccines for chicken pox)
Chickenpox vaccine helps to protect against the virus which causes chickenpox (varicella zoster virus). Only people in contact with anyone who has chickenpox receive this chicken pox vaccine.
Chicken pox vaccines are different types. The chicken pox vaccines which are available right now are:
You can get these chicken pox vaccines from your doctor, and only available in the hospital. Only people with close contact with someone with chickenpox should have these vaccines. Also, non-immune health workers. These vaccines are live vaccines, they contain some amount of weakened chickenpox causing virus. But after childhood, it isn’t as effective any more.
Chicken pox in adults (adult chickenpox)
All children are immune to chickenpox after the infection. But some adults are at risk of chickenpox if:
They have a weak immune system from earlier illness, such as HIV.
They are pregnant, there is a high risk of pneumonia and if you smoke. During the first 28 weeks of pregnancy and you have chickenpox, your unborn baby could develop a rare condition known as foetal varicella syndrome (FVS). This syndrome can cause complications such as: brain damage, shortened limbs, scarring and eye defects.
They are adults, it is more serious in adults. Adults who contact chicken pox are more likely to be admitted in the hospital. Some adults with chicken pox can develop lungs problem. Adults can also recover from chicken pox quickly.
If you notice any signs of chickenpox quickly contact your doctor.
What causes chicken pox (causes of chickenpox)
One of the causes of chickenpox is varicella zoster virus, and you can contact it by coming in contact with someone with chicken pox. It is contagious and if you have not previously had chickenpox you are likely to contact the virus.
It is spread by someone who has the chicken pox rash, the rash are itchy and once it breaks it can contaminate surfaces or any object. And by touching those surfaces or objects you can contact chicken pox. Coughing and sneezes by someone with chicken pox will spread the virus. Within 14 days the symptoms of chicken pox will start to appear after contact with someone with chickenpox.
It is possible to catch shingles from someone with chicken pox.
Chicken pox prevention (prevention of chickenpox)
At any point you realize your child has chicken pox, notify their schools.
Take time off work to care for a child with using chickenpox prevention until the blisters have all burst and all crusted.
Avoid contact if you have chicken pox with newborn babies, pregnant women, people with weak immune system e.g. people going through chemotherapy for cancer.
If you have chicken pox, do not visit public places like hospital, places of worship and friends.
Avoid travelling on a plane if you have chicken pox as people with chicken pox may not be allowed to travel on a plane. Read the airline policy or inform the airline before travelling.
If your child or someone in your home has chickenpox, disinfect or use sterilizing all surfaces and object in the home to avoid the spread of chicken pox. Wash their cloths separately to avoid the spread of chickenpox.
Chicken pox stages (stages of chickenpox)
There are few images to explain the stages of chicken pox.
Here is a chart on the spread of the virus in different areas.
Here is a video to explain further.