Chicken pox can not only affect children but
also adults. This disorder can be prevented with the help of immunization. Let
us take a look at the causes and symptoms of chicken pox and treatment options
Chicken pox is a contagious
disease that can spread among children as well as adults easily. Although, this
disease is contagious, children and adults who are immunized or who have coped
with this illness before may not easily get affected with it. If at all such
individuals get affected with this disorder, the symptoms will be less severe.
How is chicken pox caused and
Chicken pox is a disease
caused by the varicella zoster virus. Unless they have had chicken pox before,
anyone can contract the disease, i.e. children, adolescents and
The disease is highly contagious, spreading through
the air or by direct contact. The virus attacks the mucous tissues.
Consequently, the disease is easily transmitted through droplets of mucous
secretions from the respiratory tract while coughing or sneezing. It can also
be transmitted to a person who has been in direct contact with a dirty handkerchief
or the varicella lesions.
In most people, the incubation
period ranges from 13 to 17 days. A person is most contagious for two days
after the appearance of the rash and continues to be for about five days.
Usually, it is safe for children to go back to school by the sixth
What are the symptoms of chicken
The typical sign of chicken pox is an
irritating, itchy rash that starts on the trunk and slowly spreads over the
face, including the scalp, mouth and ears, and also the upper arms and legs.
Scabs form over the lesions after four or five days and may stay for one or two
weeks after which they drop off. In addition, children may also develop fever,
chills, nausea and vomiting.
How can this illness be
There is no specific
treatment for this disease. However, it is imperative that you stop your child
from scratching the spots. If she scratches the spots, the scabs may come off
leaving the wounds open to infection and scarring. Apply calamine lotion at
regular intervals to alleviate the itching and keep your child's nails short to
minimize the risk of
What are the risks associated with chicken
Although, chicken pox is not a very serious
disease it can give rise to complications in people who have weak immune
system. Below mentioned are some of the complications that can arise which may
also require hospitalization of the
Reyeâ€™s syndrome that can be caused
due to intake of aspirin while coping with chicken pox.
Very rarely chicken pox can give rise to complications
like death. In case if a pregnant woman gets affected with chicken pox when she
is less than 20 weeks pregnant, there are chances that the foetus may be born
with birth defects. If the pregnant woman gets affected with chicken pox during
the last phase of her pregnancy, she may pass on the infection directly to the
baby and he or she may take birth with chicken pox. So, it is necessary to talk
to a doctor if one gets affected with chicken pox during
What are the ways to prevent chicken pox
One of the best ways to prevent
chicken pox in children is to get them vaccinated. Children must be vaccinated
against chicken pox as per the schedule prescribe by a paediatrician. As per
the schedule prescribe by Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), children are
vaccinated against chicken pox when they are between 15 to 18 months of their
age. The second dose is given when they are 4 to 6 years
It is necessary to vaccinate
children to protect them from illnesses like chicken pox. If you think that you
have missed the chicken pox vaccination for your child, you must talk to his or
her paediatrician and get it rescheduled as soon as possible.
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- The Indiaparenting Team