Chickenpox (chickenpox) is a highly contagious acute infectious disease that occurs with a characteristic vesicle rash.
More often children who attend kindergarten or school, places with a large crowd of people, get sick.
The disease is caused by one of the herpes viruses (herpesvirus type 3). Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease. The virus is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person by airborne droplets (when talking, staying in one small room). With air current, chickenpox can spread over long distances (up to 20 m). Infection can also occur from a patient with herpes zoster (caused by the same kind of herpes virus). The virus is unstable in the environment, therefore, the final disinfection after the patient is not carried out.
Chickenpox becomes contagious two days before the rash appears, and remains contagious for the first 5-7 days after the rash.
The incubation period of chickenpox is 7-21 days. The virus enters the human body through the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat. Then the virus spreads through the body with lymph and blood, penetrates the skin and mucous membranes, where it multiplies. The targets for the virus are the cells of the spiky layer of the skin and epithelium of the mucous membranes. After a primary infection, the virus stays in the neurons of the spinal ganglia, ganglia of the facial and trigeminal nerves for life. Like all herpes viruses, chickenpox virus has the ability to suppress the immune system – which leads to a violation of the immune response in the humoral and cellular types and a violation of the factors of innate resistance to infections.
Immunity in chickenpox is non-sterile i.e. causes immunity to new infection and does not ensure the removal of the virus from the body. The virus stays for life in the spinal ganglia, the nuclei of the cranial nerves, which are associated with the areas of the skin that are most affected by the primary infection. Reactivation of the virus occurs under conditions of a weakened immune system in the form of herpes zoster.
Symptoms of chickenpox in children
The disease manifests itself primarily in a febrile state, a sharp increase in body temperature to 39-40 degrees, a headache. The most striking sign of chickenpox is a rash and itching.
A rash in the form of small, fluid-filled vesicles can cover a significant part of the body and mucous membranes. Bubbles quite quickly burst and turn into small sores that need to be treated with an aqueous solution of brilliant green or potassium permanganate, acyclovir and other ointments as prescribed by the doctor. Healing, the rash becomes covered with a crust, which gradually disappears, thereby demonstrating recovery. Usually the rash heals without a trace, but if you comb it, scars and scars may remain on the skin after healing.
In children, chickenpox proceeds in a simpler form than in adults, who may suffer further complications.
It is extremely rare that chickenpox can occur without rashes and vesicles – in this case, additional consultation with a specialist is necessary to clarify the diagnosis.
Typically, chickenpox goes away by itself within a week or 10 days. In this case, the temperature can normalize after two to three days, although, in some cases, it persists throughout the entire period of the disease.
The treatment of chickenpox is symptomatic (i.e. the manifestations of the disease are treated: high fever, skin rash), because medicine at this stage does not know any way to prevent or treat this disease. The goal of treatment is to prevent suppuration of the vesicles. Zelenka is perfect for this, you can use Castellani liquid, an aqueous solution of fucorcin or potassium permanganate, etc. Children tolerate alcohol solutions very painfully.
It is necessary to bathe a child with chickenpox in order to prevent the appearance of a secondary skin infection. In this case, you can not use a washcloth and it is better not to use soap, adding a weak solution of potassium permanganate to the bath. Create the baby’s skin as comfortable as possible: do not wear tight and tight clothes, use only cotton underwear.
If your child is severely itchy, tell your doctor: he will prescribe antiallergic drugs.
When the temperature rises above 38 ° C, chills, the child must be given antipyretic drugs (paracetamol). Recent data suggest that in such cases it is better not to use ibuprofen, its use has been associated with a high risk of skin infection. Also, children should not be given aspirin because of the high risk of complications (Reye’s syndrome).
A person with chickenpox is isolated at home for nine days from the onset of the disease. In kindergartens, quarantine lasts 21 days.
Complications of chickenpox
Complications of chickenpox are rare and most often associated with inaccurate treatment of rashes and their suppuration, which subsequently leads to scarring.
Very rarely, in weakened children, severe forms of chickenpox are found with damage to the brain, internal organs.