Chickenpox - NHS
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This virus also can cause a painful skin rash called shingles (herpes zoster) later in life. After someone. chicken-pox virus. Chickenpox and shingles are notifiable conditions1 Seek medical advice if there are any of the following: a child or adult. Chickenpox (varicella) is a viral disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. are not immune to chicken pox and become exposed to someone with shingles will catch . Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply Health Clinic; Relationship Counselling; Residential Alcohol/Drug Treatment.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Chickenpox? Chickenpox often starts without the classic rash, with a fever, headache, sore throat, or stomachache. The red, itchy skin rash usually starts on the abdomen or back and face, then spreads to almost everywhere else on the body including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs, and genitals. The rash begins as many small red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites.
They appear in waves over 2 to 4 days, then develop into thin-walled blisters filled with fluid. The blister walls break, leaving open sores, which finally crust over to become dry, brown scabs.
All three stages of the chickenpox rash red bumps, blisters, and scabs appear on the body at the same time. The rash may spread wider or be more severe in kids who have weak immune systems or skin disorders like eczema. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus VZV.
Chicken Pox and Shingles: IU Health Center
After someone has had chickenpox, the virus stays dormant sleeping in the nervous system for the rest of his or her life, even though the chickenpox goes away. The virus can reactivate "wake up" later as shingles.
Shingles symptoms include tingling, itching, or pain in one area of the body, followed by a rash with red bumps and blisters. Luckily, kids and teens who get shingles almost always have mild cases; severe shingles cases usually are in older people. Kids who are vaccinated against chickenpox are much less likely to develop shingles when they get older. If it does happen, the case of shingles is usually milder and less likely to cause complications than in someone who wasn't immunized.
Chickenpox is very contagious — most kids with a sibling who's infected also will get it if they haven't already had the disease or the vaccineshowing symptoms about 2 weeks after the first child does. The chickenpox virus spreads both through the air by coughing and sneezing and by direct contact with mucus, saliva spitor fluid from the blisters.
Chickenpox is contagious from about 2 days before the rash starts until all the blisters are crusted over. Someone with shingles can spread chickenpox but not shingles to people who haven't previously had chickenpox or the vaccine. Shingles can only develop in people who have already had chickenpox. A child with chickenpox should stay home and rest until the rash is gone and all blisters have dried, usually about 1 week.
If you're unsure about whether your child is ready to return to school, ask your doctor. Pregnant women, newborns, or anyone with a weakened immune system for instance, from cancer treatments like chemotherapy or steroids who gets chickenpox should see a doctor right away. What Problems Can Happen? Some people are more at risk for complications from chickenpox, including pregnant women, newborns born to mothers who had chickenpox, patients with leukemia, kids receiving drugs that suppress the immune system, and anyone with immune system problems.
If they're exposed to chickenpox, they might be given a medicine zoster immune globulin to reduce its severity. Can Chickenpox Be Prevented? Doctors recommend that kids get the chickenpox vaccine as: Few people who've been vaccinated actually develop chickenpox, and those who do tend to have very mild cases and recover quickly. Healthy kids who have had chickenpox do not need the vaccine — they usually have lifelong protection against the illness.
If a pregnant woman has had chickenpox before the pregnancy, the baby will be protected from infection for the first few months of life, since the mother's immunity is passed on to the baby through the placenta and breast milk. How Is Chickenpox Diagnosed? Doctors usually can diagnose chickenpox by looking at the telltale rash at either an in-office visit or a telemedicine visit.
Call your doctor if you think your child has chickenpox. The doctor can guide you in watching for complications and in choosing medicine to ease itching. These small particle aerosols may be breathed in by another person. Chickenpox is also spread by contact with or breathing in blister fluid.
Reactivation of this virus causes shingles herpes zoster rather than a second attack of chickenpox. Direct contact with the blister fluid in shingles can cause chickenpox in a non-immune person. There is no spread through the air from people with shingles, except perhaps in some very severe cases of disseminated widespread shingles. Contact with chickenpox or shingles cannot lead to shingles in the exposed person since shingles can only follow the reactivation of a previous chickenpox infection.
Signs and symptoms Symptoms of chickenpox may include: Slight fever and cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash see image. A rash appears as blisters which crust to form scabs and is usually itchy. Crops of blisters may appear over several days and various stages of blisters may be present. The rash is usually more noticeable on the trunk than on the limbs.
It may affect the scalp and the inside of the mouth, nose, and throat. In childhood, chickenpox is usually a mild illness and can be so mild it might not be noticed.
Chickenpox in adults is more severe and may be complicated by pneumonia lung infection or inflammation.
Chickenpox may be particularly severe in children with leukaemia, pregnant women and young babies. A blistering rash with band-like distribution see imageusually associated with severe pain, occurs in the skin supplied by the spinal nerves carrying the reactivated virus.
The rash may be followed by persistent pain in the area, lasting for weeks. Diagnosis Chickenpox and shingles have a typical appearance and are usually diagnosed by clinical presentation. This can be confirmed by a swab test of the rash detecting the varicella-zoster virus. A blood test can detect if someone has protection from chickenpox infection in the past, but the test may not be helpful in determining if there is adequate immunity to varicella-zoster virus following vaccination.
Incubation period time between becoming infected and developing symptoms For chickenpox, 10 to 21 days, commonly 14 to 16 days, but may vary in people whose immune system is suppressed. Infectious period time during which an infected person can infect others For chickenpox, from 2 days before the rash appears until at least 5 days after the rash first appears and all blisters have crusted over.
For shingles, a person is infectious from when the rash appears until all blisters have dried up.
Chickenpox and shingles (varicella / herpes zoster)
Treatment Specific antiviral treatment for both chickenpox and shingles is available. Treatment is usually only given to those with severe disease or at risk of severe disease. To be effective, treatment must be commenced early, usually within 24 hours of onset of the rash. For all cases, calamine lotion or promethazine [Phenergan] available from pharmacies may be useful for the itch.
If treatment to reduce temperature or discomfort is necessary, paracetamol is recommended.