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Chickenpox Causes

Chickenpox is caused by one of the eight herpes viruses named the varicella-zoster virus. It used to be a fatal illness that threatened children, but nowadays it can now be cured and prevented through vaccine.

Chickenpox Definition

Chickenpox is a classic infectious disease common among children. It is a rarely fatal illness that is characterized by red spots on the different parts of the body and become itchy over time. Persons that acquire chickenpox as well obtain lifelong immunity from the disease once it heals after a few weeks.

Chickenpox Symptoms and Signs

This disease begins with the appearance of red sores and blisters around the body, starting with the face and arms. Prior to this the virus has already thrived in the body for 10-21 days and once developed, they can be highly contagious especially to those who have not experienced the disease yet. Once the disease has developed, lesions begin to form in the different parts of the body, which are made up of thin-walled vesicles that contain fluid inside. As the vesicles mature the fluid becomes cloudy and cracks open, leaving a crust. The fluid is very contagious until the lesions heal, and the crusts fall off after a week. But new lesions keep on forming during the span of the disease, and will only cease once the virus dies and all the lesions crust over.

Chickenpox Treatment

Since chickenpox is highly contagious, persons affected by the disease are normally isolated and are not allowed to make outdoor social interactions during while the virus exists. This usually takes two to three weeks. Nowadays however, chickenpox can now be treated as well as prevented by the use of the varicella vaccine. While the disease is ongoing, drugs such as paracetamol is given to the patient in order to reduce his fever, while baths are mixed with sodium bicarbonate or antihistamine to reduce the itchiness. Aspirin meanwhile is not recommended to be taken as a medication because it can cause complications leading to Reye's Syndrome, which can be fatal. The vaccine however is not available in all countries. In the United Kingdom, using the varicella vaccine is not practiced due to the lack of evidence supporting its lasting benefits. Chickenpox however contributes to serious congenital defects on babies, since pregnant women are not proven to be immune from the virus. These defects may be in form of skin disorders, vision problems and brain damages.

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