When speaking about chickenpox, the first thing that comes to mind is those itchy rashes on the body. But what really is chickenpox? Chickenpox is an infectious illness which is caused by a kind of virus called varicella zoster. Although the virus can be caught by a grown up, children are usually the ones who are infected by such illness.
Being parents, chickenpox is one of the illnesses we may have to deal with while raising kids. How do you know if your child has been infested by chickenpox?
Slight fever and itchy rash are two common symptoms of chickenpox. At the initial stage, smooth and red spots can be easily seen on the body and face and by the third day, these red spots will become blisters which can be extremely itchy.
How is the virus spread?
Chicken pox can spread through the air via sneezing or coughing from an infected person. A person can also catch the virus if he or she accidentally comes into contact with the liquid coming from a broken blister of an infected person.
Since chickenpox is highly contagious, you have to keep your child away from an infected person to minimize the risk of being infected. A person who has caught the virus is very contagious for the first two days. He or she can also spread the virus for the last 5 days or so before the rash starts to heal and become crusted.
Can your child be prevented from catching the virus?
Fortunately you can get your child vaccinated against catching chickenpox. If your child is between 1 to 12 years old, he or she may only need one shot while a person who is 13 years old and above may have to get two doses.
When a healthy child is injected with the chickenpox vaccine, his or her body will began to build resistance against the virus which causes chickenpox. But being vaccinated doesn’t mean 100 percent immune from catching the virus. In fact, there are still less than 15% of those who have been vaccinated catching the illness when directly contacted the virus. However, the good news is that when a vaccinated person is catch chickenpox, the illness is usually very mild.
Consult your family doctor to find out more information about chickenpox vaccination. It is best advice to get your children vaccinated as chickenpox can be serious when certain complications arise. Bacterial skin infection, encephalitis and pneumonia are just some of the serious complications. So prevention is always better than cure. Get your children vaccinated to give yourself one less worry while raising kids.