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Chicken Pox

Chickenpox, a highly contagious illness, is common in children, particularly those under the age of 12 but is also seen in adults. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and is contagious from about two days before the rash appears and lasts until all the blisters are crusted over.

How is it spread?

Chickenpox spreads easily. It is most contagious the day before the rash appears.

It can contracted through direct contact with an infected person. Even if the person sneezes/coughs, it can be transmitted.

A pregnant woman with chickenpox can pass it on to her baby before birth or after delivery.

Symptoms of chickenpox

1.    A rash that usually begins on the body and face and later often spreads to the scalp and limbs.

2.    Itchy rashes.

3.    Small red spots which develop into blisters in a couple of hours.

4.    High body temperature.

 Who are at risk of complications?

     1.    Pregnant women who have not had chickenpox.

2.    People with a weak immune system, such as those with acute or chronic leukaemia or HIV.

3.    Patients taking medicine to suppress their immune system, such as long-term oral corticosteroids.

 When to seek Medical Advice

 Although most cases of chickenpox heal without complications, sometimes medical attention is required. Call the doctor if any of the following conditions develop:

    o   Fever higher than 103 F

o   Eye rash

o   Continued dehydration, vomiting, or decreased fluid intake

o   Blisters that leak a thick, yellow or green fluid.

o   Areas around a blister are red, increasingly painful, or swollen, or have red streaking extending from the site.

 Prevention

         Avoid being in close proximity of an infected person.

 With simple precautions, Chicken Pox can be prevented. But if contracted, it is easily treatable. Consult a Doctor on noticing symptoms.

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