Chickenpox is a contagious infection caused by the Varicella zoster virus. This condition often occurs in children, even though adults can also get it. This condition is generally mild, especially in children. But in severe cases, blisters can spread to the nose, mouth, eyes, and even genitals.
In Indonesia, chicken pox is a condition that is often considered trivial because many people consider this disease to be a myth, which is a disease that must be experienced and cannot be prevented. Check out the causes, symptoms, to how to treat it in full below.
Causes of Chicken Pox
Varicella, also known as chicken pox, is a viral infection caused by the Varicella zoster virus. The virus can spread through droplet fluid from sneezing or coughing, or through skin contact with body fluids from Varicella blisters.
Risk Factors That Increase Chicken Pox
There are several factors that might increase your risk for experiencing this disease. These factors include:
- Never had chicken pox before.
- Has not received the chickenpox vaccine, especially pregnant women.
- Having a weak body immunity, for example due to HIV, using steroid drugs, or undergoing chemotherapy.
Also, be aware that the Varicella zoster virus can cause shingles or snake pox. This disease is characterized by the emergence of skin nodules filled with water on one side of the body and feels painful.
Chickenpox symptoms will appear after 10-21 days after exposure to the virus. Transmission of this disease can take place 1-2 days before the rash appears until the blisters completely dry out.
In addition, symptoms begin with a high fever, headache, decreased appetite, feeling weak or feeling unwell. Some time after a fever, a rash or reddish spot will appear on the skin that will eventually form a blister filled with fluid (vesicles).
Vesicles that appear as symptoms can also appear in the mouth, scalp, around the eyes to the genitals. Other symptoms that accompany the rash are high fever can appear before the rash appears. This cycle repeats to areas of the body that have not yet been infected with smallpox, and lasts about two weeks until all wounds heal.
Characteristics of chickenpox such as rashes and blisters usually appear on the body and face and can then spread to the limbs.
Within a few days, the blister fluid can dry out and form a scab. This scab can fall out on its own, but if it is scratched or torn, this can cause scarring or scarring. These rashes and blisters are accompanied by itching.
It is important to know, not all sufferers experience the same form of rash disorders. Some experience it all over the body. But there are also only certain parts of the body such as the scalp, face, arms and legs.
Stages of Chicken Pox Symptoms:
- Rash or reddish spots.
- Blisters are usually fluid-filled, thin-walled, and prone to rupture.
- After a few days, the nodules will dry out and peel off by themselves.
The most painful of these conditions is the itching that attacks. The itching that arises from chickenpox often makes the sufferer unable to scratch it. Scratching can make skin infections or trigger the appearance of scars (scar) after you recover.
In adolescents and adults, usually chickenpox symptoms that appear more severe than in children. Adults who experience this condition also have a higher risk of complications.
Especially if you are pregnant or have a weak immune system, you should immediately consult a doctor to get proper treatment and prevent complications.
When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?
Visit a doctor immediately, if you or your child experience conditions such as:
- The rash spreads to one or both eyes.
- The rash becomes very red, warm or soft. This condition can indicate a secondary bacterial skin infection.
- The rash is accompanied by dizziness, disorientation, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, tremors, loss of muscle coordination, worsening cough, vomiting, stiff neck or fever higher than 38.9 Celsius.
- Having problems with the immune system or under 6 months of age.
Chicken Pox Complications
- Skin rashes or blisters are very susceptible to bacterial infections. Signs of secondary bacterial infection are when chickenpox is accompanied by pus.
- The feared complications are meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) caused by the spread of the virus to the brain. Symptoms of this complication are convulsions, headaches, nausea, vomiting and constant drowsiness.
In general, doctors diagnose chickenpox based on the rash that appears. If there are doubts about the diagnosis, chicken pox can be confirmed by laboratory tests, including blood tests or culture of sample lesions.
Chicken Pox Treatment
How to treat chickenpox is very dependent on improving the patient’s immune condition. Here are ways you can medically or naturally treat, including:
- Home Care
Things to consider as one way to cure this condition is adequate rest and eating foods with balanced nutrition. In addition, it is also necessary to maintain cleanliness of the skin while still bathing and drying the body slowly.
Don’t forget to drink lots of fluids to help the body get rid of viruses faster. This step is important because it can prevent the body from becoming dehydrated.
- Medical treatment
You can also use analgesics and antipyretics to reduce symptoms of fever and headaches. In addition, prescription acyclovir as an antiviral drug is also effective for shortening the duration of symptoms and can be recommended for pregnant women or people with weak body immunity who experience chickenpox. This drug is most effectively given 24 hours when a rash appears and the duration of drug administration is 1-2 weeks.
Doctors also usually recommend antihistamine drugs to eliminate itching and swelling. Antibiotics can also be given if secondary bacterial infections of the skin appear or if people with this condition experience bacterial pneumonia.
As much as possible do not leave the house until the disease is completely healed. Most cases are treated by giving anti-emetic drugs.
Chicken Pox Prevention
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be immunized with the chickenpox vaccine after 1 year of age 1 time. Whereas for adults or children who have aged 13 years and over, the administration of vaccines can be done 2 times with a distance of 4-8 weeks.
This vaccine is also a protection for vulnerable people, such as women with weak immune systems who are planning to become pregnant. Consult with your doctor about the actions that can be taken.
A higher dose vaccine is also recommended for parents who already have chickenpox — to prevent herpes zoster outbreaks. Those over the age of 65 can consult a doctor to see if a high-dose vaccine can help overcome the condition.