Chickenpox, which is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), is a highly contagious disease. As chickenpox is caused by varicella virus, the disease is also known as varicella. A person can get infected by chickenpox virus even by breathing in the particles which come from chickenpox blisters or by touching any infected object on which particles are already present. Rashes act as the telltale sign of chickenpox.
Monsoon, spring and winters are the seasons in which people easily get infected. Children between 15 and 20 years of age are usually the ones in jeopardy. Chickenpox can be easily detected if a person is aware of the right symptoms.
Symptoms of chickenpox
Chickenpox Early symptoms-
- A person feels malaise after being infected.
- The incubation period of the varicella is 10-21 days. Meanwhile, one may feel dizzy all these days.
- A vague feeling of mental uneasiness.
- Ache in muscles.
- Loss of appetite.
- A feeling of nausea.
Chickenpox Later symptoms-
- Rashes cover your whole body when you are infected by varicella virus.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Small, itchy, red spots on face, limbs, stomach, chest and other body parts as well.
- Sometimes, spots turn into blisters which are itchy as well as irritating.
After the appearance of blisters it takes nearly 12 to 15 days to recover. A crust appears over the blisters after which itching becomes a common problem. But, after a few days the blisters start drying and the patient starts recovering.
Usually, chickenpox is caused by a virus named Varizella zoster. People become infected after coming in contact with the virus or with an infected person. Due to the presence of this contagious virus in the body blisters appear and itching starts.
Chickenpox Prevention and vaccination
- It is advised to maintain a distance from an infected person as chickenpox is an infectious disease. The risk of transmission of virus from one person to another remains always high.
- A person can get vaccinated to prevent himself from chickenpox as vaccination is available for varicella virus. It is 95 per cent effective in preventing chickenpox.
- If you are still not vaccinated, it is recommended to get vaccinated in order to stay protected. One should have a blood test which defines his immunity before getting vaccinated.
- Infants younger than a year and pregnant women should not be vaccinated.
Chickenpox can be cured by certain medicines. Some of them are –
- Non-aspirin analgesic like acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used to cure fever and aches.
- For soothing the rashes, calamine lotion can be applied over the blisters.
- Diphenhydramine or antihistamines can be helpful during itching.
- People who are at high risk can use acyclovir, an anti-viral drug which can shorten the duration of the infection.
- Medicines containing aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid should not be given to children as there occurs a risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
Home Remedies which could be tried to cure chickenpox –
- Chickenpox could be cured faster it one keeps himself hydrated.
- One should take bath in neem water after every three to four hours.
- Oatmeal bath can also be taken to soothe the itching blisters.
- Lotions could be re-applied over the blisters in every four hours to prevent itchiness caused by blisters.
- The paste of neem leaves applied over the blisters could be really helpful in curing them.
- A person should have his nails trimmed in order to prevent scratching the itching blisters.
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take complete bedrest and try to take proper oatmeal diet with fluids like orange juice and coconut water.
Note: All the above mentioned medicines should be consumed as per the direction of the physician.
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