Chicken pox is a common ailment amongst children. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and is characterized by a rash and some blistering. The child may develop flu-like symptoms. A child suffering from chicken pox is supposed to be kept indoors and away from other children since the disease is very infectious. Today, you can protect your child from this disease by taking him or her for immunization against chicken pox. Vaccination is not a guarantee that a child cannot get infected with chicken pox. However, a child who has been vaccinated will only be affected mildly should he or she contract the illness.
What does chicken pox look like?
1) The child will begin by having a headache accompanied by a fever. He or she may also have a stomach ache and suffer from sore throat. The child may remain in this state for a few days, and it can be very stressful to the parent since this is accompanied by irritability, insomnia, and sometimes, in the cases of very young children, lead to febrile convulsions due to the fever.
2) The child will then develop a rash which will be on the abdomen, the face or the back. The rash will then spread to all parts of the body, including the genitals, arms, scalp and even the mouth.
3) The appearance of the rash resembles hundreds of insect bites and the pimples or red spots are usually less than a quarter inch wide. These spots will appear for approximately 2 – 4 days.
4) The rashes mentioned above will then form blisters which are filled with fluid. These blisters in turn burst open and leave the skin having several open sores. These then form brown hard scabs. You should manage the itchy rash by giving the child cool bathes, or use calamine lotions to ease the itchiness.
5) The symptoms of chicken pox may come all at the same time and you will find your child having the rash, blisters and scabs at the same time. It does not progress like other infections do. Children with a weak immune system or those who have skin conditions such as eczema are more affected by the disease.
6) An odd fact about chicken pox is that it is usually more severe in older children and adults, than it is in younger children. Care should be taken since sometimes the open blisters can lead to secondary bacterial infections that can exacerbate the situation.
7) People who develop chicken pox may develop shingles later on in their lives. The VZV will remain inactive in the cells of the nerves and will reactivate later in life to bring about shingles. This is characterized by a lot of itching, and inflammation before a rash and blisters develop.
8) Chicken pox is passed on through saliva, mucus, or fluid from the blisters. This is the reason why a child who has this disease should be kept away from others until the blisters have completely dried. It is best to contact a doctor and see if it is safe for the child to go back to school.
9) If you have not been vaccinated against chicken pox, or contracted it before, you can get it from someone who has got shingles. The odd fact is that a person with shingles can give you chicken pox, and you will not contract the shingles. Shingles can only come about from the reactivation of VZV. However, someone who has not had chicken pox will get the VZV is if for the first time, and they will cause chicken pox instead of shingles.
Chicken pox images