Posts Tagged ‘chickenpox’

Chickenpox

Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a contagious viral infection that commonly affects children. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and also affects teenagers and adults.

According to NHS Choices, it is usually common to catch it in winter and spring, particularly between March and May. It starts with low fever (on my experience it was chills short fever with sensation of coldness even if the weather is warm. It usually happens in the early part of the day) and rashes develop. It usually covers the face, forehead (including scalp) and the torso (particularly in the arms). The rash develops into blisters filled with water-like fluid, hence the Filipino term bulutong tubig.

The blisters then develop into scabs and may take 1-2 weeks before they eventually disappear, albeit living scars. Chickenpox is contagious a couple of days before the symptoms appear and until the scabs fall off. Infected individuals are recommended to stay away from other people who have not contacted the virus yet and/or vulnerable persons, pregnant women, infants and people with weak immune system.

The rash/blisters are extremely itchy, however, you must under no circumstances, scratch it. If the scab falls off because of scratching and it hasn’t dried out yet, it may form into crater-like holes/scar in the skin. It is particularly annoying and doesn’t look good, particularly in the face.

As for the diet, my physician Dr. Arlene Malilay, recommended to just eat hypoallergenic foods and fruits. Although you can eat seafood, you have to stay away from processed seafood like dried or canned fish (sardines). She advised to take acyclovir, an antiviral medicine. She said branded ones costs about more than 100php. My wife was able to buy from The Generics Pharmacy for about 9php per tablet. When we needed to buy again, they don’t have any stock left so we bought a branded acyclovir for 176php per tablet. Whew!

Even if you are immune from contacting chickenpox if you already were infected, the virus still remains in the body and may later be reactivated as shingles, an infection of a nerve and skin around it. My physician said that it only affects one side of the body, either left or right part and never crosses the other side. It is usually itchy and painful and may last for a few weeks. It is common to individuals 50 and up.

The best way to avoid contacting the virus is to stay away from an infected person and always wear a facemask when going out of your room and dont touch other people or even go near to them (be sure to change it regularly), spray some disinfectant in the air regularly, and wait until the scabs fall off and dry out before going back to school or work. To keep you free from complications, antiviral medicines and a healthy diet will help a lot. For the itch, calamine can help relieve the itching.

Stay safe and have a productive week!

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