Chickenpox Varicella Simplex is one of the most common, yet fairly mild childhood illnesses that children are likely to catch during their time in school.
Chickenpox Varicella Simplex is a viral infection (Varicella-Zoster Virus) that is part of the Herpes family and therefore highly contagious, spreading by droplet infection from infected carriers.
Most children infected with Chickenpox Varicella Simplex have a rash of sores on the skin and in the mouth which are fluid filled blisters called Vesicles that are equally infectious when they are exposed. The Vesicles are extremely itchy and will leave a permanent scar on the body if they are scratched off.
Complications from Chickenpox Varicella Simplex are quite rare and are usually nothing more than infections caused by the chickenpox varicella simplex vesicles.
Although highly contagious chickenpox varicella simplex is not life threatening at all and only needs monitoring when the vesicles are being constantly scratched at and the body temperature is rising.
Signs and Symptoms of Chickenpox
- Mild Fever (approximately 38oC – 40oC)
- Illness for 1 or 2 days
- Vesicles or blisters that appear anywhere on the body usually on or around the mouth, nose, penis, vagina or the head.
Incubation Period for Chickenpox
The Incubation Period for Chickenpox Varicella Simplex is 14 – 21 Days, although the vesicles can take up to two weeks to disappear completely.
Normally the Vesicles crust over and form into scabs after 24 hours, then the new vesicles tend to appear every couple of days for about the next week or two.
The application of cool compresses reduces the want to itch the blisters (vesicles), but do try to encourage the child not to scratch at the blisters (vesicles). Try to keep your childs nails short and smooth to avoid causing a bacterial skin infection caused by scratching the vesicles.
A daily bath and clean clothes for your child will help to keep the skin free from infection and ease the vesicles as the soaking will ease the itching.
Calamine Lotion or Antihistamines can help prevent the vesicles from itching and paracetamol will help to reduce temperatures during Chickenpox Varicella Simplex.
You should call into your local health centre for further medical advice on Chickenpox Varicella Simplex and for help or assistance dealing with the contagious vesicles.
Vaccinations against Chickenpox
Vaccinations against Chickenpox Varicella Simplex are recommended if you are concerned about your child catching this contagious infection. The vaccinations against Chickenpox Varicella Simplex are called Varivax Vaccines and should be readily available at your local health centre.
The vaccinations against Chickenpox Varicella Simplex should be administered to the child between 12 and 18 months and then at any time after that if they have not already had Chickenpox Varicella Simplex virus. Do remember that this is a fairly mild viral illness though.