Chickenpox And What Would You Do

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Chickenpox And What Would You Do

Chickenpox is quite a common childhood illness that is particularly seen in children less than 12 years of age. It appears in the form of an itch rash that turns into fluid-filled blisters. The blisters occur all over the body and the child also suffers from symptoms similar to flu. Usually, no treatment is required and the rash disappears on its own. However, chickenpox is contagious, and hence, the infected child has to stay at home and get ample rest until all the symptoms disappear.

This illness is caused due to a virus known as the varicella zoster virus. However, getting vaccinated against the virus between 12 months and 15 months can protect the child from getting chickenpox. In addition, the child should get a booster vaccination between 4 years and 6 years to further enhance the protection. In case a child has never had chickenpox, then he or she should receive the vaccination on reaching the age of 13 years. Even adults who have not had the illness can get vaccinated. The vaccination is given in 2 doses and the second dose is given after a gap of 28 days.

Once a kid gets chickenpox, the virus will stay back in the body offering immunity to further attacks of the illness. However, in some people, the virus tends to resurface leading to shingles.

What would you do if your kid gets chickenpox? As this illness is caused due to a virus, antibiotics are not prescribed by the doctor. However, if the kid scratches the blisters, they can get infected due to bacteria. In such a case, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics for the secondary infection. An antiviral is only prescribed if the kid or adult has a chance of complications. The most commonly prescribed antiviral medication is acyclovir. However, this medication has to be prescribed within the initial twenty-four hours of the rash making an appearance.

Chickenpox causes fever, discomfort and itching. Hence, steps should be taken to relieve these symptoms. Usually, it has been seen that taking an oatmeal bath helps with the itching. Even using a cool wet compress every three to four hours can help with the itching and discomfort. After the bath or wet compress, the body should be patted down with a towel. If the itching is still troubling the child, calamine lotion can be used. However, refrain from using the lotion on the face. Bland foods and cold drinks can help the child to eat and drink without too much difficulty. However, do not feed the child anything acidic or salty, such as pretzels or orange juice. If the child is suffering from fever and pain, then use acetaminophen.

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Chickenpox And What Would You Do