With a compulsion to stay indoors all day long but away from family and friends, Chickenpox was one of the most dreaded diseases in everyone’s childhood. As it is a contagious disease that spreads via droplets from sneezes and coughs of the infected, individuals are restricted to maintain minimal human contact.
What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is an ailment caused by herpes varicella zoster virus. It is diagnosed with an onset of unreasonable rashes that transforms into blisters on the body and is accompanied by cold and fever.
- There are generally 250-300 itchy blisters all over the body.
- A potential chicken pox patient is infectious for about two days before the rash appears and continues being so till there is black/brown covering on the blisters, i.e., the lesions are crusted over or until blisters are turned into scabs.
Who is at a risk of developing chicken pox?
- If there is exposure or contact with an infected person which includes even breathing the same air the patient is breathing. Under all conditions, avoid even the slightest contact with the patient to prevent contraction of the disease.
- If you are 12 years or younger.
- Your immune system is weak.
- If you have been infected prior with chicken pox but the virus has remained dormant in your body can lead to shingles in later.
How to treat chicken pox?
- Chickenpox is a self-resolving disease that generally subsides within a week or two without any specific treatment. In reality, there is no medication to cure chicken pox; every individual who is infected has to suffer till it passes on its own.
- Certain medications are prescribed by the doctor to reduce the intensity of symptoms like itching, fever, etc. Once the condition passes, creams are also given to treat scars, if any.
- One of the most crucial points to remember is to stay hydrated during this phase. As there are ulcers and blisters in the mouth, chewing food can be difficult, and soups can be a good option.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing to avoid the possibility of itching.
- Try to cover hands and legs with mittens especially at night to avert involuntary scratching in during sleep.
- In case the patient wants to have a bath, immerse neem leaves in the bath water to prevent itching and boost quick recovery.
How to prevent chicken pox?
- When a vaccination shot is given to the child aged between 12 to 15 months, followed with a booster between 4 to 6 years of age, the chances of contracting the malady reduces by 98%
- In case the vaccination is missed out when young, adults should opt for catch-up doses as chickenpox outbreaks tend to be more severe, frequent and prominent in older adults.
- Individuals who are unable to receive chicken pox vaccine should avoid convergence with the affected. But hedging physical contact doesn’t completely secure them against chicken pox as in many cases the virus has already been spread in the aura.