What is Chicken Pox?

Chicken Pox is an infectious disease caused by the virus called Varicella Zoster. It causes pocks and scars on the body, and this causes itching. It spreads from already infected patients through direct contact with the rash of the infected person’s skin.

Is Chicken Pox dangerous?

Chicken Pox is just an itchy disease. It is a disease that mostly occurs during childhood in the age group of 4-10 years. It rarely occurs in adults, but when it does, it is more serious. For pregnant women, it is very serious, and it adversely affects the nervous system, brain, eye and body. The disease is not fatal, and may result in a stroke or shingles (Herpes Zoster) in severe cases.

What are the different types of Chicken Pox?

There is only one type of Chicken Pox. It is the Varicella infection which is highly contagious. It is an airborne virus which can spread easily by a sneeze or coughing by an infected patient. Normally you can see the rash 10 to 20 days after infection by the virus.

What characterizes Chicken Pox?

The symptoms of Chicken Pox are appetite loss, headache, nausea, and painful muscles. Rash occurs on the face, head, body, arms and legs. The rash emerges as pocks on the skin, then bumpy blisters and scabs on drying. The case of rash in adults is more severe and may result in pneumonia as well. In extreme cases there is redness around the rash accompanied by a pain in the chest and breathing difficulties.

Which consultant should I consult if I have Chicken Pox infection?

For Chicken Pox, one should consult a Paediatrician in the case of children, and a General Practitioner in the case of adults.

Is Chicken Pox curable?

Chicken Pox has a cycle and cures by itself at the end of it. Vaccination is the The treatment involves reducing the risk of spreading the ailment by isolating the patient, and making them stay at home. Scratching should be prevented and strict hygiene should be observed. Oatmeal baths, help reduce the itching.

Is Chicken Pox infectious?

Chicken Pox is highly infectious. Till the blisters crust, the disease worsens and is highly contagious. Immuno-compromised individuals spread the disease through direct contact till the lesions are crusted.

Can Chicken Pox be life threatening?

Immune system and medication reduces fever of Chicken Pox effectively. Adults are more risk prone. Inflammation of brain, encephalitis, pneumonia and even death can occur in high risk cases. Timely mediation and reducing risks by medicating effectively, help in preventing fatal consequences.

How do I reduce the effects and incidence of Chicken Pox?

Prevention of Chicken Pox is by way of isolation of affected persons. Vaccines have been developed from the Oka strain. Varicella vaccination is not a compulsory dose in schools, and if given, the infection is milder if it occurs. One dose at the age of one and then a second one, after 5 years is the normal immunization schedule.

Chicken Pox vaccine- is it a remedy for the disease?

Giovanni Fillipo (1510-1580) is the first one to develop the Varicella vaccine, commonly known as the Chicken Pox vaccine. In the 1970s, a Varicella vaccine was developed in Japan, by Michiaki.

Children who have never had chickenpox should get 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine:

1st Dose: 12-15 months 2nd Dose: At 4-6 years of age. People over 13 years of age (who have never had chickenpox or have received chickenpox vaccine) should get two doses at least 1 month away from each dose. Chicken Pox vaccine should never be administered to people:

  • who have HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system

  • who are being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids

  • who have any kind of cancer and are undergoing cancer treatment with radiation or drugs

  • who recently had a transfusion or were given other blood medicines.

What kind of hygiene should I observe during Chicken Pox?

Bathing, astringent soaks and closely cropped fingernails to prevent secondary bacterial infections is a precaution for Chicken Pox. Chicken Pox is a contagious viral illness. Chicken Pox occurs seasonally and in epidemics the all over the world. The virus is spread by the pre existing respiratory problems and is a common among children.

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