- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Chicken Pox Symptoms and Prevention
During the school year is the most common period for a child to get the chicken pox. The disease is usually contracted from being in the same room as another person who is infected with the virus. This article will outline how to know if you or your child has contracted the virus with a checklist of typical chicken pox symptoms to look out for.
Initial stages of chicken pox
The spots that arise on the skin usually coincide with a few other ailments. It usually begins with a bad headache or sore throat. A stomachache is quite common as well. The chicken pox can also start with a high fever and even flu-like symptoms. Tiredness and loss of appetite aren’t unheard of either. Unfortunately, the sufferer has to deal with these additional internal issues on top of having the unsightly red spots all over their skin as well.
Later stages of chicken pox
After the initial stages have taken their course, a rash will spread to other areas of the body and form a number of red spots. Generally, the spots will start on the face, back and on the abdomen areas. They will then spread from there to all other parts of the body. If you notice a rash forming, visit a doctor immediately so you can receive appropriate treatment and speed the healing process.
The spots can range in size. Some can be as small as a mosquito bite while others can be larger and grow to nearly the size of a nickel. Over time, the spots form into blisters that fill with white or transparent fluid. Scab formation is quite typical when the blisters break. It is important to avoid itching the effected areas, even though it is tempting to scratch everywhere.
Chicken pox prevention
The virus can be spread in a number of different ways so it is important to be aware of the chicken pox symptoms and to detect the problem early on. Once you know that you or your child has been infected, there are a number of things you can do to prevent the virus from spreading on to other people.
Usually the chicken pox virus is spread through the air via coughing or sneezing. The particles get inhaled by another person and they get infected. It can also be spread from direct contact with the blisters or mucus. People who have the virus are contagious until all the blisters have crusted over. With this in mind, it is important for the person infected with chicken pox to stay away from people who haven’t had a vaccination or who haven’t contracted the virus in their lifetime.
Other simple steps can be taken, such as frequent hand washing and wearing sterile masks. However, stopping the virus with a vaccination before symptoms develop is the best method for prevention.
Inquire about vaccinations with your physician to protect both you and your children. Typically, babies get vaccinated when they’re about 12 months old and receive booster shots again before they enter kindergarten or first grade.