What is the chickenpox?
-It’s a contagious disease caused by Varicella-Zoster Virus. Usually the patients suffer from itchy rash of blisters and fever.
How is chicken pox transmitted?
• It can spread through the air by infected people when they sneeze or cough.
• It can spread if you touch the chickenpox sores directly.
Symptoms of chickenpox:
• Incubation period lasts for 10-21 days when virus is present but no symptoms.
• Flu like symptoms appear for 1-2 days (before the appearance of the rash) which includes Fever, tiredness, loss of appetite and headache
• Then Rash appear on the face, chest, and back. Rash spreads to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area.
• Then blisters appear which are itchy and fluid-filled blisters
• Scabs, it usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs.
When Is a Person Contagious?
-usually A person with chickenpox can spread the disease from 1 to 2 days before they get the rash (when the flu symptoms usually appeared) until all their chickenpox blisters have formed scabs (usually 5-7 days).
Does chickenpox only occur in children?
Adults who have not had chickenpox in their childhood are as likely to get it. While chickenpox is a mild disease for children, adults usually get more sick. The disease is also more severe in infants and people with compromised immune systems.
If I get chickenpox once, can I get it again?
For most people, getting chickenpox once provides immunity for life. However, for a few people, they can get chickenpox more than once, although this is not common.
What is the best way to prevent the disease?
The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. The vaccine can be used for both adults and children, in 2 doses. If you get in contact with someone with chicken pox , you should get chickenpox vaccine within 3 to 5 days of being exposed.
How to treat symptoms of chickenpox?
1) Analgesics and antipyretics: usually used to reduce pain and fever
2) Avoiding dehydration: It is important to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.
The following may help prevent scratching:
- keeping fingernails clean and as short as possible
- wearing loose clothing
- Distract the child when you find him or her scratching.
- Avoid getting hot and sweating, because these trigger itching. Stay out of sunlight. A child can play outside in the shade.
- placing mittens or even socks over a child's hands when they go to sleep, so that any attempt at scratching during the night does not cut the skin
- applying calamine lotion or having an oatmeal bath to reduce itching
- Lotions or creams that contain antihistamines should not be used for chickenpox. But sometimes antihistamines that are taken by mouth will help relieve itching.
- Antiviral medication may be prescribed during pregnancy, for adults who get an early diagnosis, in newborns, and for those with a weakened immune system. Acyclovir is one example. This works best if it is given within 24 hours of developing symptoms. Acyclovir reduces the severity of symptoms but does not cure the disease.
Are baths good for chicken pox?
Warm to cool baths can help relieve itching. Take baths for 20 to 30 minutes as often as needed to stay clean and soothe your itchy skin.
- Do not use soap, or use only a mild soap( Soaps that are made for sensitive skin or recommended for babies are usually mild).
- Add a handful of oatmeal (ground to a powder) to your bath. Or you can try an oatmeal bath product, such as Aveeno.
- Blot the skin dry after bathing. Don't rub the skin.