Chickenpox: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Chickenpox is a common contagious disease among children, but teenagers and adults can still be infected, and more severe than kids.

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What causes Chickenpox?

The disease is caused by VZV standing for varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpesvirus family, which also can cause Shingles in adults.

Chickenpox most usually spreads through the respiratory tract including mucous membranes of the mouth and nose since an infected person sneezes or coughs. It is less common that you can also catch the disease if fluid from a chickenpox blister gets on your skin. More rare, you can get the skin condition from the fluid of shingles blisters.

Children under 1 year old whose mothers have not had chickenpox or the vaccine can get serious chickenpox. In case that their mothers have had the disease or vaccinated, they are not very likely to get it, or if they do, it is usually mild case, thanks to the antibodies from the mothers’ blood.

Intense symptoms are more typical in kids whose immune system is weakened due to an illness or medicines.

How to treat Chickenpox?

There are medications to struggle against the chickenpox virus, not specific treatment, but not everyone can receive the medications.

Antiviral medications will become crucial in people who have already had skin conditions, lung conditions or have recently taken steroids. It is likely that only children or adults being particularly vulnerable to chickenpox complications are offered the vaccine. There is a chance for someone vaccinated can still develop the condition after contacting with an infected person.

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If the symptoms of healthy children do not too serious, they are typically not prescribed to antiviral medications. Those, including teenagers and adults, who are possible to get more severe symptoms, may benefit from antiviral medications if they apply them early. Those living in the same household who develop chickenpox are prescribed to antiviral medicines, as well, or they may develop more serious signs. The decisions will depend on the age, health, the extension of the infection, and the timing of the treatment.

To be efficient, the medicines must be commenced within the first 24 hours of the rash.

Antibiotics will not prescribed right at the first stages to treat the condition, but it may be required if the sores turn into infected by bacteria. This is pretty regular among children, since they usually scratch and pick at the blisters.

You should pay attention to some home remedies during the infection:

– Use over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms such as fever and itching after consulting your doctor,

– Avoid scratching or rubbing the blisters,

– Take lukewarm baths using little soap and rinse thoroughly,

– Take oatmeal baths, apply cool compresses, or take antihistamines to control itching, following your doctor’s instruction,

– Wear cool, light, loose bedclothes,

– Avoid expanded exposure to excessive heat and humidity.

It is important to remember that people who may be infected with the disease must not take aspirin or ibuprofen, or they can be associated with more severe conditions.

How to prevent Chickenpox?

To efficiently prevent the disease by vaccine, children are recommended to be vaccinated twice:

– first injection as 12 to 15 months old

– second shot as 4 to 6 years old.

After 13 years old, if people have not had vaccinated or caught the disease, they need to receive two doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart to be protected.

If your kids are infected with the condition, to prevent spreading the infection, try to keep them away from public areas to avoid contact with someone else, particularly those who are not immune. It is better to keep them off nursery or school and rest until the rash is gone. Keep your kids wash their hands regularly, especially before meals and after using the bathroom.

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