ibnlive » Health

Mar 31, 2008 at 12:27pm IST

What you should know about chicken pox

New Delhi: A lot of chicken pox cases have been reported in the last couple of weeks.

In Delhi alone, more than 1200 cases of chickenpox have been reported this year.

As the virus now recedes, there are chances that you might catch it even now as some of you are either in close contact with the infected or haven’t got vaccinated.

Dr Amit Varma of Fortis Healthcare tells you how to protect yourself against chicken pox.

To start with, there is a vaccine available and you can get the shot at any age.

The symptoms of chicken pox include fever, tiredness, lack of appetite, sore throat followed by rashes and red spots all over the skin that keep developing for the next five to seven days. The spots go through blistering, bursting, drying, and crusting over the next few days.

Though chickenpox is usually mild, it can be serious or even fatal in adults and young infants. It can lead to severe skin infection, breathing problems, brain damage, or even death.

Chickenpox can be a very frustrating condition especially for the children. And its very important to stay put at home else you spread the virus. Children might also get scared about getting permanent spots.

Most people need only home treatment that includes resting and taking medicines to reduce fever and itching.

One of the things that come handy is the lactocalamine lotion---it can be applied over blisters to stop the itching.

But you need to be extra careful if you have health problems like cancer, asthma and allergies or are pregnant because Chickenpox during pregnancy can cause birth defects.

After you have had chickenpox, you are not likely to get it again. But if the virus becomes active again, it can cause a painful viral infection called shingles.

But that is not as worrisome because it generally doesn’t grow to be a full disease and goes away quickly. Well that's all we have for this week,

For more health queries, you can write at ibnlive.com.

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