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Chickenpox is a contagious infection that appears on face and trunk as red blisters and then spreads throughout the body. The symptoms of chickenpox before the rash appears are fever, muscle ache, loss of appetite and fatigue. The red blisters that develop are usually itchy but the crusts fall off within 10 days. Antihistamine medications are used to treat chickenpox.
HOW IS CHICKENPOX DIAGNOSED?
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella zoster virus.
What is chicken pox?
Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is an airborne disease that may spread through coughs and sneezes of the patient. Chickenpox is usually mild and has a course of 5-10 days. Patients suffering from chickenpox need to be kept in strict confinement. Chickenpox in adults can sometimes be very severe.
Chickenpox is characterized by the appearance of skin rash and itchy blisters. Some other symptoms of chickenpox include:
• Aching muscles, headache, loss of appetite and nausea.
• Rashes in the oral cavity.
• Bumps, blisters and pustules.
• Intense itchiness.
• Low fever.
Chickenpox prevention involves measures like disinfection by chlorine bleach, heat and detergents which successfully eliminate the virus. The chicken pox symptoms mentioned above can be treated by medications.
Chickenpox vaccine is also recommended. Even if a person if infected with chicken post vaccination, the symptoms are milder than in usual cases.
Chicken pox treatment mainly includes attempts to ease the discomfort and reduce the symptoms.
• Patients are advised to stay at home to avoid transmission of the infection to other people.
• In case of excessive itching, the nails of the patients are clipped or gloves are given to reduce the risk of secondary infection.
• Calamine lotion is applied to soothe the rash. In addition, the skin is to be cleansed with warm water regularly to prevent bacterial infections.
• Paracetamol is prescribed to reduce fever. People who may develop severe complications may be administered doses of intramuscular varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG).
In children affected by chicken pox, the chicken pox treatment aims to alleviate the symptoms without interfering with the immune system. Aspirin is strictly avoided in children below 16 years of age as it causes Reye Syndrome. Antiviral drugs are usually not recommended unless the children are exposed to secondary viral infection.
The onset of infection in otherwise healthy adults can become severe. Infection in adults may cause:
• Direct viral or secondary bacterial pneumonia.
• Direct viral or secondary bacterial bronchitis.
• Direct viral or secondary bacterial hepatitis.
The treatment of chickenpox is Antiviral drugs which are usually administered within 48 hours of the appearance of rashes to prevent the incidence of these primary or secondary infections. Increasing the intake of water is advised to reduce dehydration and headaches. Antihistamines are used to relieve the itching as well as in the form of sedatives to enable the patient to rest.
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