Chickenpox, also known as Varicella Disease, is a highly contagious viral disease that is most associated with its tell-tale itchy rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and mainly affects children, but people of any age can contract it.
Once exposed to the virus, symptoms of chickenpox will appear within 10-21 days and can last for 5-10 days. After the rash appears, it will go through three phases. At first, an infected person will get raised red or pink bumps that spread across the body for several days. Next, small blisters filled with fluid will appear before they then break and leak. The final stage sees the popped blisters scab and crust over.
Until the blisters have scabbed and healed, anyone with chickenpox will remain infectious to anyone who has never had it. It is common to experience all three stages at once as new bumps appear during the course of Varicella Disease.
Symptoms other than the rash can include:
- A high fever
- Loss of appetite
While uncomfortable and unpleasant for your child, chickenpox is usually mild in children and will resolve on its own in a few days. In adults, symptoms tend to be more acute. In rare cases chickenpox can become more serious, especially when contracted by infants or pregnant women. More severe cases can lead to skin infections, permanent scarring, pneumonia, or brain swelling.
Thankfully, a safe and proven chickenpox and varicella vaccine has been available for several years. It is not offered as part of the NHS routine vaccination schedule for children, but it can be obtained privately through pharmacies like Touchwood Pharmacy.
Getting the chickenpox vaccination vastly reduces the chances of getting the virus. The vaccine is usually given in two doses with the second dose administered 4-8 weeks after the first dose. It is recommended for all children under 13 who have not had chickenpox. Adults are also urged to get the chickenpox vaccine if they haven’t had chickenpox and they work with children or in healthcare.
If you want to protect your family against chickenpox, contact Touchwood Pharmacy today to discuss how to get the Chickenpox and Varicella Vaccination in Sydenham and Northolt.