Chicken pox is a viral infection that is caused by the Herpes varicella zoster virus. This virus spreads in droplets and attacks the individual when it enters the body through the respiratory tract.
Chicken pox is the most common childhood infection that affects many an individual. In very rare instances chicken pox becomes complicated and serious.
As the infection of chicken pox is highly contagious and it can easily spread through air when the infected person sneezes or coughs. In fact the infection can also spread through any physical contact in which the fluid of the blister comes in contact to the skin of the healthy person can result in the transmission of the chickenpox disease. However it is not always necessary that the infection of chicken pox spread through physical contact. Many individuals get the infection before even if they do not come in contact with any individual who has chicken pox.
Chicken pox mostly attacks children who are under ten. Most of the children get this infection by this age. However chicken pox also affects adults and youngsters. The severity of chicken pox in adults and youngster is much more complex than in the children under ten.
Chicken pox mostly occurs in spring and in late winters. Kids who are immunosuppressed particularly on steroids are more prone to complication of this infection. This disease can also infect newborn babies if the mother suffers from this infection in her late pregnancy. Pregnant ladies also remain at great risk of getting affected by this infection.
The initial symptoms of chicken pox are headache and mild fevers. Young children may become bad tempered and grumpy on the attack of this infection. The incubation period i.e. from the exposure to the inception of symptoms is 12-24 days. The infection begins with conjunctival and catarrhal symptoms. The main symptom of this infection is the appearance of rash on the skin all over the body. This rash converts later into red spot, which develops into fluid filled blisters. These blisters are very itchy. Within few days these blister scab over and finally dry up.
The infection of chicken pox most likely affects the trunk of the body but it may also affect the other part of the body including mouth and scalp. In very rare instances the symptoms are so rare that they often go unnoticed. Although severity of this disease are not very common but in some cases it may lead to secondary bacterial infection, viral pneumonia, and encephalitis.
For proper diagnosis of this infection one should always consult a doctor. A child suffering from headache, cough, and skin blisters should immediately be taken to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Children suffering from the infection of chicken pox can also experience immunity problem and in that case proper treatment by consulting a doctor is necessary. In order to deal with the pain the children are provided with pain relieving syrups.
As the blisters are itchy the children are given antihistamine and calamine lotion in order to reduce the itchy sensation. In the severe case of this infection the patient is often provided with antiviral medicines. Children who suffer from this infection should be treated with immunoglobulin injections in order to prevent the spread of the infection. Sometimes they are also given antiviral drugs to treat the infection.
When a child is infected by the infection of chicken pox certain precautions should be taken in order to prevent the further spread of this infection. The fingernails should be kept short and the hands of the child should always be clear. Children should be discouraged from scratching the spot or the blisters. In the recent days many vaccines have been introduced in order to prevent the infection of chicken pox.
The spot caused during the infection remains infectious until they have completely scabbed over. So no children should be sent to school until they fully recover from their infection, as it would prevent the spread of the infection. This is a disease that often leads to weakness and so it should be ensured that the patient receives enough rest and drinks sufficient fluids.