Chickenpox also medically known as varicella is a mild and caused by a virus named varicella-zoster virus. It is a common disease among children under 12.
The chickenpox virus spreads through not only the air by coughing and sneezing but also by direct contact with mucus, saliva (spit), or fluid from the blisters. It is spread rapidly and easily from an infected person to another. It is infectious around 2 days before the rash appears, usually for 5 to 6 days, when all the blisters have crusted over.
The first signs are typically mild in children, but may be severe in teenagers and adults
Chickenpox commonly begins with a fever, headache, sore throat, or stomachache. These signs may last for a few days, with the fever which may reach to 102°F (approximately 39°C).
You also find a red, itchy skin rash often presents first on the abdomen, back or face, and then expands to other parts of your body, such as the scalp, mouth, arms, legs and genitals.
Initially, you will see the rash consisting of several small red bumps which are similar to pimples or insect bites. After 2 to 4 days in form of crops, they develop into thin-walled blisters with fluid. As long as the blister walls break, they have become open sores, crusted over and then turned into dry, brown scabs. They often occurs in the mouth, vagina, or eyelids.
Finally, all stages including red bumps, blisters, and scabs may simultaneously appear on the body.
Other usual signs of the disease include:
– Feeling sick, tired and sluggish
– Little or no appetite
The chickenpox rash may present around 20 days after contacting with an infected person. Among kids having skin disorders or weak immune systems, the rash can be more serious.
Unless becoming infected with bacteria from scratching, it is more likely that pox do not leave scars.
In rare cases, severe bacterial infections such as the skin, lungs, bones, joints and even brain may happen.
Special risk group
Even though it is most commonly occurs in childhood, adults are still possible to catch the disease. Children may be infected with the skin disease in winter and spring, specifically between March and May.
Some special cases that are at higher risk include:
– Pregnant women,
– Newborn babies,
– Patients with leukemia or immune deficiencies,
– People with a weakened immune system.
These people may be required to have blood test to check whether they are immune to the disease. They should be taken a medicine after exposure to chickenpox to reduce its seriousness.
This is used to be a typical childhood disease thanks to the vaccine. More than 90% of adults are protected from the condition since they have got it before.
Chickenpox on most children is mild and can get better on its own. However, you still need to be cautious. Once you see the blisters become infected or your child has a pain in their chest or finds difficulty in breathing, immediately contact the doctor.