While most people consider chickenpox to be a mild disease, it is a highly contagious skin infection caused by varicella-zoster virus. No matter what the age group, coughing, sneezing, and direct contact spreads the virus rapidly. People with impaired immune system are more prone to get affected by chickenpox.
The common signs of chickenpox are:
- Itchy rashes
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and drowsiness
Chickenpox Affecting Children:
Children often get infected with chicken pox from a sibling or at day-care. Kids with chicken pox typically develop fluid-filled blisters that usually start on the chest and then spread to the arms and legs. Try oatmeal baths and calamine lotions to sooth the itching. Give your child acetaminophen to help reduce pain and fever. Just make sure they do not have aspirin, as it can cause Reye’s syndrome. Your doctor will help you determine the right dose based on your child’s weight.
The Varicella vaccine prevents chickenpox in 90 percent of children. Ideally, 12 to 15 months is the age you must get your children vaccinated; followed by a booster dose when they turn 4 to 6 years.
Chickenpox Affecting Teenagers:
Since it is very contagious, one can contract chickenpox just by being in a room with someone who has it. However, a short exposure is not likely to result in infection. Teenagers often get infected with chicken pox from school or outdoors.
The risk of getting infected is higher if they haven’t had chickenpox earlier or not been vaccinated. While the symptoms remain the same in teenagers like the kids, the virus however stays in the body and can reawaken later to cause shingles.
It’s hard to see your kids in discomfort, but with a little extra care, chickenpox shouldn’t leave any mark. Remember, Immunisation is the best way to prevent chickenpox!