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Chickenpox (Variella Zoster Infection)

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kim Musa

on 21 October 2012

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Transcript of Chickenpox (Variella Zoster Infection)

(Varicella Zoster Infection) Chickenpox What is Chickenpox? Chickenpox is a viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body. It used to be one of the classic childhood diseases. However, it has become much less common since the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine. Who gets chickenpox? It is most common in children and is usually mild. When adults get it, however, they can get very sick, but most people will get chickenpox at some point in their lives if they have not had the chickenpox vaccine. How is chickenpox spread? Chickenpox can cause problems for pregnant women, newborns, teens and adults, and people who have immune system problems that make it hard for the body to fight infection. Chickenpox usually isn't a serious health problem in healthy children. It spreads from person to person through direct contact with the virus. You can get chickenpox if you touch a blister or the liquid from a blister. You can also get chickenpox if you touch the saliva of a person who has chickenpox. The virus enters the body by the nose or mouth and can make you sick, too. It can also be spread to you through the air if you are near someone with chickenpox who is coughing or sneezing. Chickenpox cannot be spread through indirect contact. What are the symptoms of chickenpox? Chickenpox begins with a fever, followed in a day or two by a rash that can be very itchy. The rash starts with red spots that soon turn into fluid-filled blisters. Some people have only a few blisters; others can have as many as 500. The chickenpox rash occurs about 10 to 21 days after coming into contact with someone who had the disease. Symptoms commonly appear 14-16 days after exposure, with a range of 10-21 days. How soon do symptoms appear? Possible complications of chickenpox infection includes:
Skin infection such as sores becoming more red, swollen, or tender
Dehydration due to frequent vomiting or refusal to drink. The person will pass urine less often, feel drowsy, have a dry mouth and lips, and be very thirsty
Brain damage from encephalitis, which may present with severe headache, stiff neck and back, confusion, irritability, or excessive drowsiness
Pneumonia characterized by coughing, wheezing, breathing difficulty, and chest pain
Arthritis characterized by joint pain, stiffness and swelling.

Some people with serious complications from chickenpox can become so sick that they need to be hospitalized. Chickenpox can also cause death.
Some deaths from chickenpox continue to occur in healthy, unvaccinated children and adults. Many of the healthy adults who died from chickenpox contracted the disease from their unvaccinated children. What are the complication associated with chickenpox? A person with chickenpox can spread the virus to others from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears until all blisters have formed scabs. This usually takes until 4 to 7 days after the rash appears.

Vaccinated individuals who develop chickenpox are also considered infectious; however, most cases have fewer spots, which rarely contain fluid. These cases can spread the virus until all spots have faded or no new spots have developed within a 24-hour period, whichever is later. When and for how long is a person able to spread chickenpox? In healthy children, chickenpox is usually a mild disease. Treatment is directed at reducing the itch and discomfort. Children with chickenpox should not receive aspirin because of the possibility of causing a complication called Reye s syndrome which is a very serious illness causing liver and brain damage.

There are also anti-viral medications which can be used to treat chickenpox. These are usually most effective when taken within the first 24 hours of developing the illness. They reduce the severity and duration of chickenpox, as well as reduce the likelihood of complications. Most children do not need them. Most adults would benefit from them if taken early enough, especially those who have impaired immunity as they are more susceptible to severe chickenpox. Is there a treatment for chickenpox? Most people do not get chickenpox more than once.
However, since varicella-zoster virus remains in the body after an initial infection,
infection can return years later in the form of shingles in some older adults and sometimes in children. Does past infection with chickenpox make a person immune? Is there a vaccine for chickenpox? The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine was first licensed for use in Japan and Korea in 1988. After many years of development, it was licensed in the United States in 1995. Since that time, the number of hospitalizations and deaths from varicella has declined more than 90%. In 2005, a combination vaccine containing live attenuated measles-mumps-rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine was licensed for use in people age 12 months through age 12 years. The best method to prevent further spread of chickenpox is for people infected with the disease to remain home and avoid exposing others who are susceptible. If they develop symptoms, they should remain home until one week after the skin eruption began or until the lesions become dry. Persons with chickenpox should avoid unnecessary exposure of nonimmune newborns and immunodeficient patients. If high-risk newborns and immunodeficient patients are exposed to chickenpox, a dose of varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) is effective in modifying or preventing the disease as long as it is given within ten days after exposure. What can be done to prevent the spread of chickenpox?
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