What is it?
Chickenpox is caused by the virus known as varicella-zoster and spreads easily from one person to another. This disease can spread through air or contact with saliva, mucus, or fluid from blisters of an infected individual. The infection will have to be in your body for around seven to 21 days before the rash and other symptoms develop. You start to be contagious to those around you up to 48 hours before the skin rash starts to occur till the time the blisters have dried.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms before the rash appears:
- Loss of appetite.
Onset of rash all over the body even in the mouth. The rash has three stages:
First these are red or pink bumps all over your body. The bumps become blisters filled with fluid that leaks. The bumps become crusty, scab over, and begin to heal. The rash can be itchy and the boils will not be in the same stage always. New boils will keep appearing continuously during the infection.
What to expect?
Things you can try at home that may relieve symptoms:
- Painkillers such as acetaminophen might help in relieving pain and fever.
- Oatmeal baths may help to soothe the symptoms of chickenpox. Put a handful of oats into tea towel or other clean cloth, and tie it closed tightly. Submerge the package in a warm bath for a while. Let your child soak in the water.
- Put socks on your child’s hands at night to stop them from scratching.
- Try cooling creams or gels. These are available from the pharmacy.
- Dress in loose clothes.
- Avoid contact with pregnant women, newborn babies and people with a weakened immune system, as getting chickenpox can be dangerous for them