Varicella

Varicella

Varicella or chickenpox is one of the commonest diseases that are marked by their global existence. This type of complication appears in an individual because of varicella-zoster virus, one of the members of a herpes virus category. Both males and females can be equally affected by this disease. However children, especially below 12 years of age, are more prone to varicella. The cases of varicella have sharply dropped in the recent past because of intense vaccination campaign throughout the world.

Although, varicella does not reoccur in an individual after treatment but its virus - varicella-zoster virus instead of being completely eliminated form the body rather remains inactive in the body for sometimes before erupting again to cause another infectious disease called shingles. For majority, varicella does not pose any threat but in some cases it can become severe and life-threatening.

Symptoms

Varicella disease is characterized by skin rashes which resembles blebs and can be associated with feverish signs. The rashes can appear in any part of the body including genitals but their first signs become evident only after 12-14 days of infection. An infected person might feel itchiness as well as mild pain in the head and abdomen. The children who are already suffering from eczema are more likely to have severe rashes.

Transmission

It is advisable to keep the infected person away from others because the disease is highly communicable. The virus of varicella can transmit in others not only through skin-to-skin contact but even through air while an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those having weaker immune system are also more prone to varicella. The virus does not transmit in those who have immunized themselves by taking varicella vaccine. Similarly, the people who had already suffered from the complication need not fret as it does not reappear again. Similarly, if a pregnant woman has never suffered from varicella and if the virus transmits in her, the fetus is more likely to be affected by it as after delivery the newly born baby may have some severe infections apart from unusually low weight.

Treatment

Normally, the doctor will not give any medication to the patient and allow the disease to complete it course without any treatment. However, in some cases, sever itching sensation due to varicella can cause secondary bacterial infection for which the doctor can prescribe some antibiotics. Such cases frequently occur in children who get irritated with the blisters and cannot refrain from scratching them when they itch.

Similarly, oral medication for a certain period can be given to those whose complication becomes severe. Sometimes, virus combating drugs are also given to the patient if his/her infection poses threat to life. Another form of treatment could be vaccination after one gets infected by the virus to make the complication mild. It is also possible that a person suffering from varicella may catch pneumonia or encephalitis and in that case, he/she has to be admitted in hospital for proper varicella treatment.

Few steps to get comfort from varicella

Take bath in either in normal or tepid water at regular interval of 4 hours in the initial couple of days. Use cloth pad to take bath and avoid any scratch. Make sure to dry your body by patting not rubbing.

A cream containing calamine can be applied on the blisters if they cause itching sensation, especially after bath because the body dries out completely.

Owing to mouth blisters, sometimes it is not possible to consume foods and drinks properly, therefore it is advisable to go for softer and cool food items that do no require too much of chewing. During the course of varicella, do not consume foods or drinks that are acidic in nature.

You may feel more irritated accompanied by pain if varicella spreads to your genitals, hence it consult your doctor for some soothing lotion to be applied in that area.

Don’t use any pain-reliever, especially aspirin, without the doctor’s prescription because in some cases it may lead to dangerous brain disorder called encephalopathy which can eventually prove fatal.