Chickenpox: symptoms, causes and treatment

Chickenpox is a virus caused by the chickenpox virus and is quite common in children. However, this condition can also affect adults who did not get chickenpox in childhood and with a highlight: there is a greater risk of developing complications, such as a frame of pneumonia. In addition, the disease can be even more worrying in women in the first trimester of pregnancy, a period in which the fetus is starting to form its organs, which can cause serious developmental problems for the baby.


The best way to prevent chickenpox is to stay informed about the virus. With that in mind, Care for Life interviewed pediatrician and neonatologist Patricia Terrivel, who clarified the causes and symptoms and explained the best way to treat chickenpox. Check out!


What causes chickenpox? Understand how the chickenpox virus is transmitted


The cause of chickenpox is the transmission of the varicella-zoster virus (the same one that causes Herpes zoster), which occurs through the respiratory tract (by sneezing and droplets) or more rarely by contact with the balls – which appear in the form of spots, turn into vesicles with an internal liquid, burst and dry. As babies and children are not very aware of the importance of covering their nose and mouth when sneezing, nor are they very careful with touch, the transmission of chickenpox happens very easily.


Once in the body, the virus is incubated for a period that varies between 4 and 16 days and transmission can happen about 1 or 2 days before the onset of symptoms, extending up to the sixth day. In the case of children attending day care centers, the Ministry of Health recommends the removal for 7 days, from the beginning of the appearance of the red spots in the body to avoid the contagion of other people.


Chickenpox in adults and chickenpox in children


Childhood chickenpox is quite common to see. The pediatrician explains that, from the moment the patient comes into contact with the chickenpox virus, immunity is created without running the risk of being infected again. So, since most people get chickenpox in childhood, it’s very rare to see an adult with chickenpox.


They say that the chickenpox virus is much more aggressive in adults. This is because the chances of someone developing a complication are greater, such as the risk of encephalitis, pneumonia and infections in other organs. “An adult with low immunity, as is the case of patients with cancer or HIV, can develop chickenpox again and in a more severe version due to the body being more immunosuppressed”, added the doctor.


What are the symptoms of chickenpox?


In addition to the small balls that form all over the body, there are other symptoms of chickenpox that the patient develops. According to the Ministry of Health, they usually appear between 10 and 21 days after infection. Keep an eye out for other chickenpox virus reactions:


  • red spots;
  • blisters on the body;
  • discomfort;
  • tiredness;
  • headache;
  • loss of appetite;
  • fever.


At first, the blisters appear on the scalp, trunk and face, but spread over the face and body as the days go by. In less than a week, the blisters heal, which can be very itchy.


chickenpox treatment


For the treatment of chickenpox, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms. With the diagnosis made, the specialist, who is usually a pediatrician, will prescribe the use of analgesics e antipyretics to ease the headache and bring down the fever, and antihistamines to ease the itch of the bumps on the body. In addition to medication, hygiene care is essential and should be done with soap and water frequently to avoid skin infections. The Ministry of Health recommends some important measures that will help in the rapid improvement of the disease:


  • To reduce itching, the ideal is to make cold water compresses;
  • avoid scratching the blisters;
  • scabs must not be removed;
  • nails must be well cut to avoid wounds.


Correctly complying with all medical recommendations for the treatment of chickenpox, the patient is able to recover from the disease within 10 days.


Prevention of chickenpox: what precautions should be taken?


To prevent transmission, Dr. Patrícia recommends: “If the child has a fever and has chicken pox lesions on the body, they need to be isolated. You can’t go to school, you can’t have contact with other children for 15 days or while there are vesicles and liquid in the lesions. After that time and with the lesions healed, she can leave the house and come into contact with other children”. In order not to run the risk of developing the infection, the best way to prevent chickenpox is through vaccination, which can be done from 1 year of age. Immunization is done in two doses and is available free of charge through SUS.

The post Care for Life.


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