Chickenpox: how and when it spreads and how to treat it
The chickenpox it is an infectious disease caused by the virus. It is very contagious and causes epidemics throughout the year.
The virus spreads through the air, from skin lesions or from the throat of the sick person. The possibility of transmission is greater in the first two days after the appearance of the outbreak (although it can start 2 days before seeing the first gallbladder).
Varicella it is contagious up to five days after the appearance of the rash or until all the lesions are scabbed over. The incubation period varies from 9 to 21 days.
It can be avoided by vaccination from the year. It is not included in the vaccination schedule.
The child should avoid contact with pregnant women who have not had chickenpox.
It is characterized by fever and an exanthema (skin rash) of the papulo-vesicular type, that is, red pimples and blisters all over the skin: scalp, genitals and even lesions appear in the mouth. It is very characteristic that it itches a lot.
The picture may be accompanied by fever, nausea, and vomiting. The vesicles rupture and, 4 or 5 days later, the scabs form.
Serious complications in chickenpox are uncommon in children with normal defenses (immunocompetent), the disease is more severe in infants, immunosuppressed patients and adults.
The most frequent complication is bacterial superinfection of the lesions. Less frequent it is that pneumonia due to chickenpox or neurological alterations appears.
The basic treatment is carried out with antipyretics (do not use Aspirin® because it increases the risk of a very rare but serious disease called Reye's Syndrome).
Warm water baths with oatmeal to keep the skin clean, cut and clean the nails well to avoid infections from scratching, liquid talcum or anti-itch lotions (antipruritic).
The child with chickenpox should not go to nursery school until all lesions have dried. This usually happens about a week after the rash starts.