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Chickenpox in children

What is chickenpox: origin?

Chickenpox is contagious infectious disease of childhood. Usually mild, chickenpox is caused by a herpesvirus. It results in a rash ubiquitous, that is to say, the vesicles appear all over the body at the same time.

That it concerns he?

Chickenpox mainly concerns children aged 1-15 years. In adulthood, more than 90% of the population have had chickenpox in childhood or adolescence.

Usually mild, chickenpox can be dangerous for adults and frail pregnant women, newborns and immunocompromised patients.

A vaccine is available since 2004, but it is reserved for immunocompromised children and their families.

Infection of chickenpox

The incubation period for chickenpox is 2 to 3 weeks. It is transmitted mainly during the 2 days before the rash appears, first by the respiratory and saliva, followed by contact with vesicles (up to 6 days after the onset of the last vesicles). The Chickenpox lasts about 14 days.

Signs and symptoms of chickenpox

Symptoms begin with a mild fever (38 ° C), a few hours before the first appearance of vesicles contained clear fluid.

The rash spreads throughout the body by successive thrusts: first the thorax and limbs, and mucous membranes (mouth and genitals), and finally the face. Vesicles found in the scalp, ears or eyes. Vesicles cause symptoms of itching sometimes ferocious until they run dry crusts.

What is the doctor?

Treatment of chickenpox prevents superinfection and reduces itching. Antiseptic is applied locally. Antibiotics are for bacterial superinfection (mostly due to scratching). Itching is limited by taking antihistamines.

The baths are maintained by adding an antiseptic (against superinfection). This avoids skin marks (random) left by the vesicles scratching increases the risk of scarring.

Warning: to reduce fever, paracetamol alone is allowed. Inflammatories are absolutely prohibited, as they are likely to cause complications. Talc-based products should be avoided and also ointments.

How not to be confused with chickenpox?

  • With other eruptive diseases of childhood: measles, scarlet fever, rubella and roseola.
  • Like this chickenpox blisters and not reddish spots, there is no possible confusion.

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