Chickenpox is a virus also called as varicella that generally affects children. Chickenpox is mainly characterized by itchy, red blisters that will appear all over your body. Chickenpox is very common during childhood but recurrence of chickenpox is rarely reported among children.
Signs and Symptoms of Chickenpox
While suffering with chickenpox, visible symptoms appear on your body. The common symptoms of chickenpox include:
- High fever
- Loss of appetite
- Red or pink colour bumps will be seen all over your body.
- Most of the bumps will be filled with liquid and might start leaking
- Bumps will not be in the same phase at the same time
- New bumps will keep on appearing during the course of infection
- Bumps generally scab over and begin to heal
What Causes Chickenpox?
The organism that is known to cause chickenpox is varicella-zoster virus. The infected person can transmit the disease to other people who comes in contact. The virus is known to be contagious several days before the blisters appear. The virus remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over.
The virus spreads to a healthy individual through:
- Direct contact with blisters
Who is at the Risk of Developing Chickenpox
The risk of development of chickenpox increases in the following conditions:
- When you have not had chickenpox earlier
- When you are in close contact with an infected individual.
- When you are young or under 12 years of age.
- When you are residing with children who are exposed to the virus.
- When you have spent enough time in school or childcare facility
- When your immune system is compromised due to severe illness and medication.
- When you haven’t been vaccinated for chickenpox
Complications Associated with Chickenpox
Chickenpox is usually considered as a mild disease but, in few cases it can be serious and results into complications or death. The common complications associated with chickenpox include:
- Bacterial infections on the skin, soft tissues and bones
- Inflammation of the brain
- Toxic shock syndrome
- Reye’s syndrome
Precautions for Chickenpox
Be at home till all the blisters have burst and crusted over. In most of the cases chickenpox requires little or no treatment. The antiviral drugs are generally used as an effectual drug against the treatment of chickenpox. The chickenpox vaccine called varicella is the best way to prevent yourself from chickenpox.
98% of the people who takes varicella vaccine are completely protected from the virus that causes chickenpox. In cases when the vaccine does not provide complete protection from the virus, it is known to significantly lessen the severity of the disease.
The chickenpox vaccine is recommended for:
- Young children between 12 and 15 months and children between 4 and 6 years.
- Unvaccinated older children
- Unvaccinated adults who never had chickenpox but are at high risk when exposed.
Chickenpox vaccine is generally not preferred for:
- Pregnant women
- Patients with weak immune system or patients suffering with HIV
- People taking immune-suppressing medications
- People who are allergic to gelatine or antibiotics.
Chickenpox is a contagious and needs immediate assistance from the physicians. When you see any visible symptoms related to chickenpox, it is recommended to immediately consult a doctor for a complete diagnosis and cure.