Chicken Pox Symptoms: Incubation Period Chicken Pox
If you have children, you are probably concerned about them coming into contact with someone that is infected, with the varicella zoster infection. It is not uncommon for parents to be concerned about their children, when it comes to communicable diseases and that is why you should protect them in every way possible. To learn what the varicella zoster virus is and how to protect your children from the chickenpox virus, please continue reading.
Varicella Zoster Virus
Varicella zoster infection more commonly known as chickenpox is a very contagious disease. This virus is a member of the herpes virus family. This virus is more prominent in children than adults, but it is not uncommon for an adult that has been in contact with a source (an object, person) of infection to become infected. Common signs include rhinitis (runny nose), low-grade temperature, malaise (feeling unwell), vesicular (red spots) turning into blisters.
Chickenpox is a droplet infection, which means it is spread through droplet transmission. Droplet nuclei (virus infected saliva, mucus) are transferred through the air, when the host sneezes or coughs. The droplet is slightly heavy and will only travel about three feet. So if someone is within that range, they will come in contact with the infected virus and the droplets will be deposited in their oral cavity, nasal mucosa, or the conjunctivae. Surgical masks and gowns should be worn if you are going to be in contact with the infected person or within three feet of them. Contact precautions should also be taken to avoid coming in contact with open fluid from the open blisters.
The varicella vaccine contains live virus and should be administered to children in two different doses. The first dose should be administered between the ages of 13-15 months (CDC) and the second dose between the ages of 4-6 years (CDC). Unvaccinated children, over 13 years of age should receive two doses, twenty-eight days apart, but only if they have never had the virus. If you are allergic to Neomycin (antibiotic), you should not get the vaccine. Most vaccines contain Neomycin, to fight bacterial contamination, during manufacturing.
The incubation period for the varicella zoster infection varies, but is normally between 14-16 days. The incubation period begins, upon exposure to the virus and ends, when the first symptoms begin to appear. The contagious period begins, one to two days before the rash appears and ends after all of the blister or broken blisters have scabbed over.
Since chickenpox is a virus, it is difficult to treat. A virus lives in the human, body cells, which makes it protected from medications. Colloidal oatmeal baths and calamine lotions or gels can be used to relieve the itching, but avoid applying the calamine lotion to the facial area. Non-aspirin analgesics and antipyretics (Tylenol & Motrin) can be used to treat pain and fever that is commonly associated with chickenpox.