Chickenpox in Adults
Chickenpox is one of the most typical skin condition in childhood. Once you have had chickenpox, it is extremely rare that you will catch it a second time since you are immune to the virus causing the disease.
If a teenager or adult catches the disease, it is likely to be more severe and they will have a higher risk of developing complications. They can still benefit from taking antiviral medicine if receiving treating early in the course of the illness.
If an adult wants to be vaccinated, they need to take two doses of the vaccine a minimum of 28 days apart.
Similar to children, an adult infected with the condition should stay off work until all the spots have crusted over. They also need to take medical advice if there are any abnormal symptoms including infected blisters.
Chickenpox during Pregnancy
It is rare for you to get the infection during pregnancy, especially when you have had it in your childhood. When you are pregnant, you absolutely need to have immunity check with a blood test to check your health. You will know whether you are immune or not. Most pregnant women having the condition recover, there is no adverse effects for the baby.
However, it is able to cause severe complications for both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, even though the actual risk of any complications happening is low. Therefore, if you are not protected from the infection, avoid contacting with infected people. In case that you are near someone suspected to catch chickenpox, call the doctor as soon as possible to be advised whether you need an injection of varicella zoster immune globulin.
For pregnant mothers:
You are at higher risk of complications from chickenpox if you are pregnant simultaneously:
– having a lung condition including bronchitis or emphysema,
– receiving steroids during the previous three months,
– are over 20 weeks pregnant.
For unborn baby:
If you have the disease in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, an unborn baby is able to develop foetal varicella syndrome (FVS) which can lead to several abnormalities.
From weeks 28 and 36 of pregnancy, in case that you catch chickenpox, there is no symptoms being discovered. However, it may become active in first years of the baby’s life, leading to Shingles.
If you are infected after 30 weeks of pregnancy, your baby may be infected and born with chickenpox.
For newborn baby:
You baby may develop more serious chickenpox and need treatment in these following cases:
– you are infected around the time of birth and the baby is born within 7 days of your rash developing,
– you catch the skin condition up to 7 days after giving birth.