Chicken Pox

Meaning and definition

Chickenpox (Bahasa Indonesia, cacar air) is a highly infectious disease caused by one of a group of viruses called the Herpes viruses. There are many different types of Herpes virus, but one feature which they all have is that they lie dormant in the body after the initial infection, and can reactivate much later. The disease caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus is known as shingles and it may occur when the immune system is run down.[1]

Causes and Symptoms

Chicken pox is caused by exposure to the Varicella-Zoster virus, spreading through coughing and sneezing or through contact with fluid from inside the chickenpox blisters.

The symptoms of chicken pox are a red, irritating, itchy rash on the skin. It usually crops up first on the abdomen, back, or face and then spreads all over the body. The rash starts as red itchy bumps that look like an insect bite or sting and then turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then eventually break open into open sores and then finally start to heal over, leaving dried-out brownish-looking scabs that will fade over time, but possibly will leave scars. The sores usually appear over the period of 2-4 days and can be more severe if your child has any kind of skin disorder.[2]

Treatments

There is no specific treatment for chickenpox although recent research using anti-viral drugs in the very early stages of the illness has shown slight benefit. Paracetamol helps the associated fever and muscle aches and pains that go along with fever. Calamine lotion or a solution of sodium bicarbonate help reduce itch in the spots. Use ordinary baking soda and dissolve it in a small quantity of water. Some homeopaths suggest the homeopathic remedy sulphur to help boost the child's immune system.[3]

Picture courtesy: webmd.com



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Notes:

[1] babycentre.co.uk
[2] surebaby.com
[3] babycentre.co.uk
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