Listed 5 dangerous myths about chickenpox

It is believed that chickenpox is an innocent childhood disease, which is better to get sick in childhood, and if possible, arrange a so-called chickenpox party, inviting all those who have not encountered this infection to it. But the “safety” of chickenpox is exaggerated – it is a serious infection, from which, if possible, it is worth protecting yourself. Together with our expert, we analyze the most popular misconceptions about chickenpox.

The causative agent of chickenpox Varicella zoster virus, or herpes virus type 3. The disease got its name because of the very high contagiousness: the infection quickly spreads by airborne droplets, that is, through the air. A person without immunity to chickenpox, being close to someone who is already sick, runs the risk of getting sick in 80-90% of cases.

Transmission of the virus occurs with droplets of liquid released when talking, sneezing and coughing, as well as through direct contact with rashes on the patient’s body.

“Chickenpox is not dangerous at all”

Chickenpox is slightly less contagious than measles, which is called the most contagious disease in the world. A person becomes contagious as early as two days before a rash appears on the skin and in general before he feels unwell. Even without knowing about the disease, it can infect a large number of people – these can be children in the classroom, kindergarten or playground, residents of the entrance, and even bystanders.

The most common symptoms of chickenpox are the appearance of a rash and associated itching, fever, flu-like symptoms – weakness, aches.

But the manifestations of the disease are not limited to this: combing itchy vesicles often leads to the addition of a bacterial infection and the development of inflammation of the skin and soft tissues – this complication in children is more common than others.

By the way, rashes can appear not only on the skin, but also on the mucous membranes and even on the internal organs. Therefore, sometimes with chickenpox, pain in the abdomen is possible.

The virus after the transferred chickenpox remains in the body in a latent (sleeping) state. Cases of recurrent chickenpox are quite rare, although they are known to the medical community – they are usually observed in patients with immunodeficiency.

Much more often, reactivation (re-awakening) of the virus leads to the development of herpes zoster, in which a painful rash appears on the body of patients in the form of itchy blisters. Even after the rash disappears, severe pain can remain, causing a lot of suffering.

All this suggests that chickenpox is not as harmless as it might seem.

15 amazing facts about your health – in our gallery:

“Chickenpox is a childhood disease”

Contrary to popular belief, not only children, but also adults get sick with chickenpox. They account for every tenth case of the disease.

Adults suffer the disease more severely than children: complications, including meningitis and pneumonia, are twice as likely to rash, fever and general malaise. They even cause death. The risk of hospitalization for chickenpox in adults is 6 times higher than in children. The overall mortality rate for chickenpox is 6.7 per 100,000 cases. In the risk group, newborns – up to 30%, children from 1 to 14 years old – 2 cases per 100,000.

“Chickenpox is not treated in any way, and therefore it is not necessary to go to the doctor”

The complications of chickenpox are quite serious. To prevent their development, you should consult a doctor at the first signs of the disease. This is especially important when it comes to babies up to a year old, as well as pregnant women, the elderly and those who suffer from immunodeficiency. Chicken pox is not the only disease that is accompanied by a rash, only a specialist can make a correct diagnosis.

In most cases, hospitalization with chickenpox is not required – you need to monitor your well-being, properly treat the bubbles that appear on the skin, if possible, isolate the patient from those who do not have immunity from chickenpox so that he does not infect others. The patient ceases to be contagious after all the elements of the rash are completely covered with crusts – about the fifth day.

If the condition worsens – an excessive number of rashes, a temperature above 39 ° C for several days, no improvement by the fifth or sixth day of the disease – you need to see a doctor.

“The rash must be smeared with brilliant green”

The classic brilliant green (aniline dye solution) is becoming a thing of the past – today it is being replaced by other antiseptics. They work just as well, and in most cases even better, while not turning the patient into a cute Shrek.

The main goal of treating chickenpox rashes is to dry out the elements of the rash and reduce the risk of inflammation. Calamine or zinc paste copes with this task. Sometimes 1st generation antihistamines will help relieve itching – but their use should definitely be discussed with a doctor.

By the way, the widespread opinion that you can’t swim and take a shower with chickenpox is erroneous.

Hygiene procedures are necessary and important, as this reduces the risk of inflammation. But you need to wash carefully, without injuring the elements of the rash – you definitely can’t rub them with a washcloth. After bathing, simply pat your body dry with a soft towel.

“Windmill parties are fun and healthy”

Windmill parties – an invitation to visit a sick person, most often a child, his peers – is not such a rare phenomenon. But the benefits of such events are doubtful: no one knows how a person will endure the disease and what complications he may experience.

It is better not to expose anyone to the risk of getting sick and not to infect on purpose, but to get vaccinated against chickenpox in advance. Routine vaccination of children has reduced morbidity, complications, hospitalizations, and mortality among children and the general population, indicating strong herd immunity. In Russia, vaccination against chickenpox has not yet been included in the National vaccination calendar, but is included in many regional vaccination calendars. In addition, you can get vaccinated in commercial clinics.

Routine vaccination is carried out in two stages: for children 9-12 months old, the minimum interval between injections is 3 months, for older children and adults – 6 weeks. The effectiveness of the vaccine is estimated at 85%. In 99% of cases, vaccination will protect against complications from chickenpox.

Emergency vaccination is also possible, which is carried out after contact with the sick person: in this case, the first dose of the vaccine is administered within 96 hours after a possible infection. The earlier the vaccine is given, the higher the chances that it will protect against the disease. Further vaccination is carried out in accordance with age.

Before vaccination, the patient must be examined by a doctor. In the event that a person does not know or does not remember if he had chickenpox, you can be tested for antibodies to the Varicella zoster virus.

Read also:

Why is chickenpox dangerous for an adult? Therapist answers

Pediatricians ask not to spank children

Windmill parties: where they take place and why they should disappear

Watch our videos:

<div class="article__item article__item_alignment_left article__item_embed article__item_source_viqeo" content="

” source=”viqeo” data-logger=”ArticleContent_embed_viqeo”>

An error occurred during the download.

Found an error? Select it and press Ctrl+Enter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.