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Chicken pox signs and symptoms

Chicken pox is a mild disease that most children will catch. It is known in medical terms as the virus called ‘varicella zoster’. It is a highly contagious disease and children affected by it need to be incubated and not come into direct contact with others or pregnant females.

What time of year are you most likely to have Chicken pox?

It is mostly prevalent in the winter time and spring and is more common in children aged between two and ten years.

What does Chicken pox look like?

Red itchy spots that usually start on the stomach.

How is Chicken pox spread?

It can be spread by direct contact with another having the virus ie breaking of chicken pox blisters or by being airborne through coughs and sneezing.

Once a person has the virus, it remains within their system and can later lead to shingles. A person cannot get chicken pox twice although a person with shingles can spread the chicken pox virus to another.

Chicken pox signs and symptoms

  • Itchy red blisters or spots over the body which eventually scab
  • Child can have moderate fever and headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Sometimes the only symptom is the rash.
Incubation period for Chicken pox

A person can become infected between 14 to 21 days after contact with a person with the virus.

Contagious period.

It is mostly infectious two days prior to the outbreak of spots and then until the spots disappear. It is only after the spots are beginning to scab over does the risk of infection decrease.

Treatment for Chickenpox

  • Use Calamine lotions.
  • Put the child in a cool bath. Don’t place any soap in the water. Add a few teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate to the water.
  • Use Antihistamines – available from your pharmacist.
  • Give the child cotton gloves or socks for their hands. Keep all nails short. This should help reduce any scratching and itching which breaks the spot and cause long term scarring.
  • Giving the child either Paracetemol or ibuprofen will help reduce the fever.
  • A blood test can be available to ensure proper diagnosis however the correct diagnosis is very easy.
  • People affected by the virus usually make a full recovery. The only problem being if the child has scratched any of the spots or blisters and have taken the scab off. This results in permanent scarring and so scratching should be discouraged.

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