Chickenpox

Chicken Pox is an infectious disease which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and also causes shingles. The incubation period of varicella is 10-21 days. A person who isn’t vaccinated or has a weak immune system is at a high risk of contracting this. The infection can spread through contact or air, just like the flu. The cases in adults can get complicated as compared to children.

Symptoms

A person who isn’t vaccinated can get this. Chickenpox lasts for about 4-7 days on an average. The symptoms usually start with rashes but later turn into pus-filled blisters that can be itchy. The rashes start from the chest and face, which then later spreads throughout the body such as mouth, face, eyelids and genital area. The blisters become scabs in a week.

Some of the common symptoms are (these appear 1-2 days before the rashes):

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • the feeling of being unwell
  • painful muscles
  • Nausea (In some cases)

The following symptoms appear after the rashes:

  • Rashes appear on the body that might be as mild as a few spots or as severe as covering the whole body.
  • Small, red and itchy spots develop in bunches and generally appear on the face, chest and stomach.
  • Blisters can form over spots.
  • The blisters cloud over and die out within 48 hours. A crust is formed on top.
  • The crust falls off in about ten days.

However, if someone experiences breathing issues, they should be rushed to the hospital.

Causes

VZV (Varicella-zoster virus) is responsible for chickenpox. The virus is infectious even 1-2 days before the blisters appear and it can remain contagious until the blisters die out. It can spread through:

  • Saliva
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Touching the blisters
  • Using an infected person’s comb, towel etc.

Treatment

There is no known cure for this viral infection, but it can be prevented through vaccination. The doctors prescribe medication to look after the symptoms. Here are some of the possible measures:

  • Tylenol is prescribed to help with the fever. Moreover, Aspirin or Aspirin containing medication should not be used as it can lead to complications.
  • Salty and spicy foods should be avoided for mouth sores.
  • Drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Medication for itchiness is provided as scratching them can be harmful.
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