Chickenpox or chicken pox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It is usually a disease of childhood, but those who have not contracted it in childhood can suffer from it in adulthood as well. The severity of the infection will be higher when adults get chickenpox. Here are some ways to effectively deal with chicken pox.
Dealing with chicken pox in children
Mild to moderate attacks are managed at home and if the condition is severe it is necessary to admit the patient in the hospital. Antiviral therapy should be started. Acyclovir, Famcyclovir or Valcyclovir are the common antiviral drugs used for the treatment.
In children as the condition rather mild, antiviral therapy is not recommended. It is given only when the condition appears progressing towards the severe spectrum and in children suffering from atopic dermatitis where the condition can be very severe and can lead to serious complications.
If oral acyclovir is started within 24 hours of rash onset it decreases symptoms by one day but has no effect on complication rates. Use of acyclovir, therefore, is not currently recommended for immunocompetent individuals (i.e., otherwise healthy persons without known immunodeficiency or those on immunosuppressive medication)
Dealing with chicken pox in adults
In adults, the condition is usually severe and so antiviral therapy must be started as soon as the diagnosis is made. Severe chickenpox in pregnant mothers and newborn children should be treated with antiviral medications. Antiviral therapy helps to bring down elevated body temperature, prevents the appearance of new lesions within a couple of days. The existing lesions heal faster without much scarring and complications like pneumonitis and encephalitis are extremely rare.
Antiviral therapy does not alter the development of adequate immunity to reinfection. For fever and itching, symptomatic treatment with Paracetamol and antihistamines are given respectively.
Infection in otherwise healthy adults tends to be more severe and active; treatment with antiviral drugs (e.g. acyclovir) is generally advised, as long as it is started within 24 -48 hours from rash onset. Patients of any age with depressed immune systems or extensive eczema are at risk of more severe disease and should also be treated with antiviral medication. In the U.S., 55 percent of chickenpox deaths are in the over-20 age group, even though they are a tiny fraction of the cases.
Cleanse the lesions to deal with chicken pox
Topically, cleansing the lesions with dilute potassium permanganate solution and application of dilute calamine lotion gives a soothing effect and helps to deal with chicken pox.
Neem baths can be given…The water is soaked with neem leaves with a dash of turmeric powder for faster healing of lesions.
If there is a secondary infection, topical and systemic antibiotics are needed. Chickenpox scars are usually superficial and heal after a few weeks. In case of deeper scars microdermabrasion or chemical peeling may be needed.
It is better to avoid bathing during the initial febrile eruptions and during the successive crops of eruptions. However, the patient can have a tepid sponge bath when there is no fever. Calamine lotion may be applied to relieve itching and promote drying after a bath. Once crusting starts, bathing can be taken daily.
Diet and sleeping changes to be followed during chicken pox
There are certain foods, that when consumed, can speed up the recovery from the Chicken Pox. And there are other foods, that when consumed, can make things WORSE and make your Chicken Pox take longer to recover from. Your diet should consist of good nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and easy for your body to digest.
Eat foods that are rich in water, so your body can easily digest them and absorb the nutrients. So for example, fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, kiwi, oranges, blueberries, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, wheatgrass, sprouts, etc.
These powerful foods will cause a huge boost in energy and your body will be able to cleanse itself from the toxins and fight off the virus faster.
Consume natural juices to deal with chicken pox
Natural juices such as cranberry juice, or orange juice are recommended. Make sure everything is organic and natural. Stay away from preservatives and juices added with chemicals. Also, vegetable juices are great too.
If you find it hard to sleep, try sleeping in a comfortable and soft bed. Try to sleep still and light. If you try sleeping in a hard as a rock bed it will only cause the bubbles to explode. Trust me, it’s nasty. Try to apply some anti-itch lotion to soother the itchiness and it will also help you to have a good night sleep.
Prevention to deal with chicken pox
The chickenpox vaccine is indicated for active immunization against chickenpox from the age of one year. It is also advised for highly susceptible healthy contacts if they had not suffered from chickenpox earlier. A single dose is given for children between ages 1 to 12 years. For persons above 13 years of age, two doses are given at an interval of 6 to 10 weeks. After vaccination, prevention of severe varicella is virtually 100%. It is contraindicated in pregnancy. Pregnancy should be avoided for three months after vaccination. About 3 to 4 % of vaccinated individuals can develop a mild form of chickenpox with a few scattered lesions with mild or no fever and the condition clears within a week.
A person who has had chickenpox develops immunity and the condition does not recur. The varicella-zoster virus can remain dormant in the body after the initial infection. It can sometimes get reactivated to cause the painful Herpes Zoster.
Before you go…
It is wise to remember that most of the diseases in the human body are caused by viruses. And since it is better to be safe than sorry, here are some tips to deal with viruses. Read on to know more.
How to deal with viruses
Little practices in daily life
There are few best practices, which are very important to ward off the viruses from our life. Little facts leave bigger impacts while dealing with viruses. Bringing some little things in practice, such as washing hands before eating, washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, cooking the meat and non-veg food items properly may avoid spreading the viruses further. It also does reduce the chances of infection and the outgrowth of these viruses.
Control and treatment
We have known so far that viruses replicate inside a host cell and cause lethal effects to the host cell, irrespective of our immune system. They must be controlled in order to avoid the damage done to the host cell and to the host body. The most effective methods of treatment and to counter their growth is vaccination and the antiviral drugs which provide the penetrative immunity to infections caused by viruses.
Vaccination is a cost-effective method of infection control and treatment caused by viruses. Vaccine generally consists of live-attenuated viruses or viral proteins, in other words, these are the antigens which fight with the viruses and rupture the “capsid” protein coating over their body and make it easy to kill them.
Vaccination is a robust way to take down the infection and has shown its effectiveness in controlling several deadly viral diseases like Chickenpox, polio, mums and many more. Out of these, Chickenpox has been eradicated completely. Same is the fact with Polio. It has been eradicated from most of the countries. But there are some countries where it has not been eradicated completely.
Although vaccination is a very effective method, unfortunately, vaccines are not available for all the viral diseases and infections! In the U.S. universal vaccination is done for polio, mumps, rubella, measles, and hepatitis B.
After the discovery of some life taking diseases such as Cancer and AIDS, there has been an exponential growth in the researches and production of anti-viral drugs. The unavailability of vaccines for all of the viral infections has given rise to this trend. These drugs are often similar to the nucleoside and hence when the virus gets attached to it, their replication is stopped as because it is not the actual host cell but just a look alike. Hence the newly synthesized DNA remains inactive as there is no hydroxyl group present resulting in the termination of DNA chain and the death of the virus as well.
Sanitation, Hygiene, and Awareness
We must maintain sanitation and hygiene around us and prevent the viruses from spreading. We should do a regular check for the waste around us as viruses start developing on the waste materials. A proper waste management system should be implied in order to get rid of daily waste and garbage. According to scientists virus contamination in sewage is between 1000 and 10000 particles per liter. We must ensure that the water we are using for the various purposes of our daily need is contamination free.
Viral disease and infections are highly contagious and spread from the infected person to the others. There are a number of ways by which virus spreads itself hence we must consider them as well when we are dealing with them. Mosquitoes and the Houseflies are the two main Vectors (virus carriers)hence their control and prevention is also a must. We should keep ourselves as clean as possible. We should avoid contact with the infected until we have the proper protection against the infection which we might get after coming in contact with the infected person. The area around the infected person should be cleaned properly so that the virus does not spread out.