Chickenpox is a very common pathology especially in children and babies; however, it can occur in adolescents and adults thanks to its high level of contagion. Although in children it is not so alarming, chickenpox can cause serious consequences in babies under one year old or in adolescents over fifteen years old and adults, so you have to pay close attention to it.
It has always been known that chickenpox is contagious, but rarely are well known how these routes of contagion can be and today in we will explain everything about this infection and we will detail how chickenpox is spread in babies.
What is chickenpox and what are its symptoms
This infection commonly presented in infants, is caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus or as its acronym indicates (VZV) and is characterized by being highly contagious, but not a serious disease.
Although chickenpox can be accompanied by fever and malaise, the main determinant symptom of the infection is the appearance of reddish pimples, which with the passage of days become blisters and consequently welts that have very intense itching. These skin changes can vary depending on each patient and even occur simultaneously.
It is normal for the infection to last from one to two weeks and the first symptoms begin to appear after about 15 days after infection. The most common symptoms of chickenpox in babies are:
- Rash: or as it is also known, rash. This begins mainly in the back and face and can pass to other areas such as the chest, arms and legs. They start as small red dots, but quickly turn into blisters with fluid inside forming a rash spread across the body.
- Itching: Tends to be extremely intense from the beginning of the rash and intensifies as the vesicles or blisters form or grow. This is a very delicate issue since it is necessary to avoid as much as possible that the infant scratches, this will help prevent the appearance of scars or major marks.
- General malaise: within this set we find symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness, a fever that can be mild or quite high, headaches and even lack of appetite, especially in babies and young children.
How chickenpox can be spread in babies
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease which can affect a large part of the family if they have not suffered from it or if they are not vaccinated against it or did not already suffer from it as children. As we mentioned before, the contagion of the Varicella Zoster Virus is very relative in each person and can occur for 10-20 days without showing any symptoms, making the patient's relatives an easy target.
The routes of contagion of chickenpox in babies can be several and here are the main ones:
- Nasal or oral secretions: this form of contagion is really common and occurs when particles of either saliva or respiratory secretions from a person with chickenpox are inhaled. This mainly affects people who speak directly to the patient.
- Contact with an infected person: Chickenpox can be spread by dealing directly with a person who has the virus. The blisters or vesicles generated by this disease contain the Herpes Zoster virus, giving the possibility of being transmitted to a healthy person if direct contact is maintained.
- Pregnant mother towards the fetus: this type of infection is known as congenital chickenpox and occurs, mainly, when the pregnant woman presents the virus in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. When this situation occurs, pregnancy immediately becomes a high-risk one, due to the complications it can present: blindness, malformations and damage to the nervous system that can be fatal to the fetus. Postnatal chickenpox can also occur, which occurs days after or immediately after delivery, being in both cases equally serious and requiring specialized medical attention.
Treatment and prevention of chickenpox in infants
In most cases chickenpox is cured with rest and rest. Generally, in a period of 10 days a baby must be recovered, however in adults the term may be longer.
Regarding the treatment of chickenpox, it is important to keep in mind that there is no special medicine or drug to treat the chickenpox virus, however several measures can be used to achieve a more satisfactory and rapid recovery:
- Cut the nails to avoid any scratching injury or infection.
- Among the best home remedies for chickenpox, we recommend making a solution of mineral water with little baking soda and applying it with the help of a cloth on the skin of the infant to generate relief from itching.
- Constantly change the child's underwear and be very attentive if you have pains when urinating and consult the pediatrician.
- Avoid medications with acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin to lower fever greater than 38.5 and look for other methods suitable for babies. It is best to follow the instructions of the pediatrician for this.
- Apply baby-friendly painkillers for a sore throat, if the blisters begin to affect the child's mouth.
In the case of chickenpox prevention, there is no concrete way, however there is a vaccine that is prescribed to babies to avoid possible contagion. Similarly, people who have already had chickenpox are very unlikely to develop this virus again later.