Chickenpox, which you and most of us know as ‘Mata’ is a very fast-spreading viral infection, which not only bothers people in India but around the world. Most of us may not know that chickenpox is an air-borne disease that causes itching and red spots all over the body. Usually, the attack of chickenpox on children is found to be mild, but the effect of this disease can be very serious in adults who have weakened immunity. However, one thing is of relief that once a person has chickenpox, his immune system becomes aware of that virus and he never gets chickenpox again in life. In some cases, this deadly virus settles in the nerve tissue of the spinal cord and later becomes active again, Which can cause painful skin allergies like shingles. You may have noticed that most people fully recover from chickenpox without treatment, but severe cases may require medical treatment.
Let us tell you that until the mid-1990s, chickenpox used to be a common infection, but with the advent of the varicella vaccine, there was a sharp decline in the number of such cases. Vaccination is one of the best preventive measures against chickenpox.
symptoms of chickenpox
Symptoms of chickenpox usually appear on the body 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus. The onset usually begins with symptoms such as fever, headache, loss of appetite and fatigue. 1 or 2 days after the initial symptoms of chickenpox appear, a red rash appears on the face, chest and back and then spreads throughout the body. These rashes can appear near your eyelids, inside your mouth and even on your private parts. In the beginning, these rashes are raised but as they worsen, they turn into pus-filled blisters. Later these blisters open and dry up and become scabs. Most people experience symptoms for about 4 to 7 days.
If you notice severe symptoms, see a doctor immediately:
fever of 102 degrees or higher. If fever persists for more than 4 days, see a doctor immediately.
Pain, swelling or formation of pus-filled blisters in the rash.
Severe headache or confusion.
Itching persists even after bathing and taking medicine.
Symptoms of pneumonia (lung infection) – difficulty in breathing, cough, etc.
Symptoms of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain): Vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, sleepiness, etc.
due to chickenpox
Chickenpox is caused by exposure to a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It is a highly contagious virus that spreads through:
sneezing or coughing from a person with chickenpox.
By coming into contact with the fluid coming out of the blisters of an infected person.
This infection can also be spread through contact with someone who has shingles.
risk factors for chickenpox
People with these problems are at a higher risk of contracting the infection:
family members of the infected person, even if there is no history of chickenpox in their household.
Children or adults who have never been vaccinated against the varicella-zoster virus.
pregnant women and newborns.
Persons with weak immunity.
Those who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
Those who have had organ transplants.
People who suffer from severe asthma.
From HIV/AIDS or other chronic medical conditions.
how to prevent chickenpox
Vaccination is the best preventive measure to prevent chickenpox. You only need two doses of the varicella vaccine to stay away from this virus. Generally, a child below 13 years of age should be given the first dose between 12-15 months of birth and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. Whereas adults above 13 years of age who have not yet been vaccinated should keep a gap of 4-8 weeks between the two doses.
Also special instructions for women planning to conceive, or pregnant women:
1-Women who are planning to conceive should receive a second dose of the first vaccine at least 28 days before conception Should be taken
2- If a pregnant woman comes in contact with a person infected with chickenpox, she should immediately contact a doctor or hospital. In such cases, she will be given an injection of varicella-zoster immunoglobulin (VZIG) immediately.
This vaccine is extremely effective in preventing infection, but the vaccine is not the only method of prevention. Some people can still be exposed to the infection after being vaccinated, however, they usually experience mild symptoms. You may have a mild fever, a red rash or blisters on your body. The chickenpox vaccine can prevent shingles from progressing during puberty.
diagnosis of chickenpox
The doctor diagnoses chickenpox based on any of the following symptoms on your body:
1-Presence of a skin rash (most common)
3-Blister-fluids for the presence of the varicella-zoster virus check of
Usually, most people experience mild symptoms of chickenpox and make a full recovery without any treatment. However, some people may require treatment if these symptoms appear:
1-Severity of the condition
2-Their medical health
treatment Other treatment options a doctor may recommend include:
Chickenpox is a viral infection for which antibiotics are ineffective. However, your doctor may recommend antibiotics as scratching can sometimes cause your skin to become infected.
The doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat chickenpox in the following situations:
People on long-term salicylate or steroid therapy.
For people suffering from lung or skin-related problems for a long time.
People with weak immunity.
To healthy persons above 5-12 years of age.
6-Way antiviral drugs are most effective when taken within 24-72 hours of the appearance of the rash.
For symptoms such as fever and pain, the doctor may prescribe acetaminophen and pain relievers. However, children under 16 years of age should avoid adding aspirin to pain medications as it increases the risk of a serious and life-threatening condition.
Apart from this, the doctor may also prescribe antihistamine medicines or calamine lotion to relieve itching.
Lifestyle changes will provide relief
In addition to these treatment options, these tips may also help control the symptoms of chickenpox:
Increase fluid intake to prevent dehydration.
Do not break the blister by scratching it. To avoid this, bite your nails. Wrap socks or some cotton thing on your hands to prevent children from scratching.
People suffering from mouth ulcers should eat foods that are soft, cold. Avoid eating anything sour or salty.
Baking soda or cold water of raw oatmeal provides relief in itching.
Place a cool and damp cloth on the rash for comfort.
Get maximum rest.
A person suffering from chickenpox becomes highly contagious for 1 to 2 days before the rash appears all over the body. Therefore, people who have chickenpox should take the following measures to prevent the spread of the disease: Wash your
Cover the face while sneezing or coughing.
Keep distance from school, office, and public places. Go to school or office only after consulting a doctor.
Avoid coming in contact with people with weak immunity.
Prognosis and complications
- The symptoms of chickenpox are usually very mild in healthy children. It can take about 2-4 weeks for the chickenpox rash to return to normal on the skin. But the scars of blisters, which have burst due to scratches, can remain on the body for many days.
- Let us tell you that when the varicella-zoster virus enters our body, then we get chickenpox. During this our body produces antibodies, which fight the virus and keep the body healthy. Therefore, people who get chickenpox in childhood do not have this problem until later in life.
- Only about 1 percent of all cases of chickenpox have serious complaints. In addition, those people whose immunity is weak are at risk of serious complications. These complications include:
- Liver problems.
- Bacterial infection of blood, skin and tissue.
- Blood clots all over the place.
- Brain muscle co-ordination
- Spinal cord Inflammation
- Reye’s syndrome
- Death, which occurs only in rare cases.
Infection with chickenpox during pregnancy can lead to complications in the baby:
- 1Exposure to the chickenpox virus in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause congenital problems such as neurological abnormalities, eye defects, small limbs, skin spots in the baby.
- Exposure to the virus between 20 and 36 weeks of pregnancy can cause shingles in the baby in the early years.
- A newborn baby can get chickenpox by coming into contact with it during the first month of birth.
- Contact within a week of the birth of the child can cause life-threatening serious illness in the newborn.