Chickenpox is not a common childhood disease. However, it can be contracted by adults. Day care workers, teachers, and hospital workers are particularly at risk. Chicken pox vaccines are available. Anyone who has ever been infected as a child with the disease has natural immunity.
It spreads through airborne contact and physical contact. It is highly contagious. It can be transmitted from one day before the rash appears to six days later. Chickenpox is a disease that can be transmitted to anyone. The rash will develop in less than two weeks. It often begins with a runny nose or a cough that lasts for a few days. The rash appears first as red bumps on the skin.
These small blisters become filled with fluid. The blisters burst open, and the sores turn pustular and crusty. For several days, new spots appear in large numbers. Between the ninth and thirteenth days, the crusts disappear. The itching can become intense during this time. Although itchy rashes can occur anywhere on the body, they are most common to be found on the chest, shoulders, and back.
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They are not often found on the palms or soles of the feet. However, they can be found inside the mouth. The rash can be accompanied by a fever and loss of appetite, as well as abdominal pain, headache, and general discomfort. Chickenpox can usually be treated at home. Itching can be relieved by taking a half-cup of oatmeal or baking soda in a cool bath.
If headaches or fever are present, it is important to consult your doctor. Aspirin should never be given to teenagers or adults, as it can trigger Reyes syndrome. This is a serious condition that can affect the liver and brain.
Chicken pox can be fatal for pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, individuals with skin inflammations like eczema and people who are taking steroids for other illnesses. The severity of the disease for pregnant women will depend on the time it is contracted. It can cause low birth weight and birth defects in early pregnancy.
If the infection is not treated within a week of birth, it can lead to a severe, potentially fatal, infection. Varicellazoster virus is part of the herpesvirus group that causes chicken pox. This herpes virus can also cause shingles. People who have had chicken pox may develop shingles later in their lives. Although chicken pox is not usually serious in children, complications can develop.
A bacterial infection can be caused by scratching the skin. Encephalitis and pneumonia are two other possible complications, but these are uncommon in children. Most cases of chicken pox do not require medical intervention. It is important to contact your doctor if you experience the following symptoms: severe rash, severe dizziness, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, stiffness in neck or fever greater than 103 degrees.