chickenpox
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What is Chicken Pox?

Chicken Pox also known as varicella-zoster is a highly contagious infection caused by an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters. Chickenpox is typically mild, particularly in children. Blisters can spread to your nose, mouth, eyes, and even your genitals in severe cases. Symptoms appear 10 to 21 days after coming into contact with someone infected with the virus. The majority of people recover in about two weeks.

Chickenpox is much less common nowadays because most children are immunized when they are young. You will not catch chickenpox from another person once you have had it. Chickenpox can strike at any age if you are not immunized. Adults who get chickenpox can become very sick, so it’s best to get chickenpox as a child or be vaccinated to avoid getting it. Source

Types of Chicken Pox

Chickenpox develops in stages.

 1. Stage One: The rashes appear. They could also be bumps that are pink or red. These are known as papules. They show up all over your body.

2. Stage Two: Over the next few days, the papules will transform into fluid-filled small blisters. These are known as vesicles, and they can last for about a day before popping and leaking.

3. Final Stage: The open wounds will crust over and develop scabs during the third and final stages. You can transmit this infection to other people up until the spots fully crust over. Additionally, new papules can keep developing, in which case you may simultaneously experience bumps, blisters, and scabs. The scabs don’t disappear for 7 to 14 days.

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What causes Chicken Pox?

Contact with an infected person is the most typical method of transmission. If you have caught the virus, it can spread to others around you. The virus is spreadable while blisters are still open. It spreads through:

  • Saliva
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Any contact with blister fluid
  • Any person who has never been exposed to the virus and/or has not been vaccinated against it can contract it.

Risk factors

Chickenpox is more common if you haven’t had it before or if you haven’t had the chickenpox vaccine. You can catch the virus by inhaling particles from chickenpox blisters or by touching something on which the particles have landed. Chickenpox is usually a minor illness. 

It can, however, be serious and cause complications such as:

  • Bacterial skin, soft tissue, bone, joint, or bloodstream infections (sepsis)
  • Dehydration
  • Pneumonia
  • The brain is inflamed (encephalitis)
  • Toxic shock syndrome (TSS)
  • Death caused by Reye’s syndrome in children and teenagers who take aspirin during chickenpox

Symptoms

Symptoms and indicators, such as:

  • Fever
  • Reduced appetite
  • Headache
  • Fatigue as well as a general sick feeling 

The chickenpox rash progresses through three stages after it appears:

  • Papules, which are raised pink or red pimples that appear over several days
  • Vesicles are small, fluid-filled blisters that form in a matter of days before breaking and leaking.
  • The shattered blisters are covered by crusts and scabs, which typically take several more days to heal. Source

Diagnosis

You should get medical attention right away if you suddenly develop rashes in your body and have a cold or fever. The doctor can identify whether you have the virus by physically examining the blisters and rashes. The doctor might also suggest certain blood tests or a test using lesion samples to confirm something further.

Treatment

Symptoms may be reduced by the following treatments:

  • When a person has chickenpox, Tylenol (acetaminophen) may help lessen a high fever and pain.
  •  One of the safest ways to avoid contracting the infection is to get the chickenpox vaccine. The vaccine offers the best defense against the infection if used as directed.
  •  To avoid dehydration, which can be a complication of chickenpox, it is important to drink enough fluids, preferably water.
  •  It is essential to avoid contact with anyone you know who has the virus in order to prevent any transmission.
  • One antiviral drug used to treat chickenpox is acyclovir. If used within 24 hours after the start of symptoms, this works best.

Home remedies

You can take these home  remedies at home:

  • Avoid scratching the itch because it can leave marks on your skin and lead to other skin infections
  • Keep your fingernails clean and as short as possible
  • Bathing in lukewarm water
  • Using a fragrance-free lotion
  • Putting socks or mittens over a child’s hands before bed to prevent any nighttime attempts at scratching from causing the skin to lacerate wearing loose clothing

Can chickenpox be prevented?

Although there is no treatment for chickenpox, there is a vaccination for VZV. Today, the majority of people may avoid the illness thanks to the chickenpox vaccination, which is roughly 90% effective. When the vaccine doesn’t offer full protection, the severity of chickenpox is greatly lessened. With the doctor’s supervision, the treatment for chickenpox can be completed with ease. It is usually advised to vaccinate both you and your children. Those who are not eligible for the vaccine can try to avoid the virus by avoiding close contact with those who are sick. Source

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