Chickenpox is a viral illness that is also known as varicella zoster virus. The majority of chickenpox cases occur in children under the age of 12. The virus is transmitted from person to person by touching the saliva, blisters, or mucus of an infected patient. Like other viruses, it can be transmitted through the air when the infected person sneezes or coughs. Once your child is exposed to this contagious virus, symptoms usually appear within two to three weeks. If your child has chickenpox, know that he or she is contagious from two days before the rash appears until all spots have crusted. Here are signs that can help you recognise chickenpox.
Identify the spots that appear on your child's body. Chickenpox spots will look like small insect bites that are pink or red.
Check if the rash is spreading. This virus usually starts with one spot but more spots can quickly develop. New chickenpox spots may appear during the next four days. This rash usually appears on the scalp, face, back, and chest. It can spread to other areas of the body such as eyes, ears, throat, vagina, and anywhere else.
Check the chickenpox rash for changes. Within 12-24 hours, chickenpox spots change into blisters that swell up with yellow fluid. After 24 hours or so, this fluid becomes cloudy. After the blisters develop, scabs form and flake off.
Check your child's temperature. Chickenpox often causes a mild fever. Call your child's physician if he has a high fever.
Monitor your child's sleeping patterns. Children with chickenpox often sleep a lot because this illness makes them feel very tired. Your child may also be irritable and feel uncomfortable.
Note any accompanying symptoms with the rash. Chickenpox may cause abdominal pain, slight headache, poor appetite, and a dry cough.
Find out if children who live nearby have been diagnosed with chickenpox. Chickenpox is very contagious even before the rash appears.
Call your physician for an appointment if you suspect chickenpox because he may be able to prescribe medication that will lessen the severity of the illness. Children who have other underlying medical conditions should be seen by a physician.