Chickenpox is a contagious infection. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Herein, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about this disease.
What are the stages of chickenpox?
There are four stages one goes through when suffering from chickenpox, they are
- Transmission of the infection
The varicella-zoster virus transfers through air and fluids such as saliva and mucus. People who haven’t had the chickenpox vaccine are likely to catch the infection.
- Prodromal phase
This stage involves the development of early signs and symptoms such as nausea, headache, malaise, and muscle aches.
- Blister stage
Ten days after the exposure to the virus, blisters begin to develop on the face, chest, and stomach which then begin to spread all over the body.
Most people recover from chickenpox in a couple of weeks as the blisters begin to form a crust and fall off the body.
What are the possible complications of chickenpox?
When adults get chickenpox, they are more likely to develop complications. When people with weak immune systems or have any medical conditions such as cancer and HIV are especially at risk. It’s important to call the doctor if you notice
- a stiff neck,
- fever that is long lasting and irresponsive to paracetamol,
- frequent vomiting,
- severe cough,
- rashes that bleed or bruise,
- difficulty in walking,
- extreme weakness,
- blisters that keep on increasing in size and swell up painfully,
- severe abdominal pain,
- breathing difficulties,
- waking up feeling confused,
- loss of appetite, and
- inability to drink water.
Chickenpox can lead to complications such as severe skin infections, dehydration, brain infection, and pneumonia.
What are the do’s and don’ts when one has chickenpox?
Don’ts of chickenpox
- Don’t increase your exposure to other people as chickenpox is highly contagious
- Don’t take aspirin or pain relievers without consulting your doctor.
- Don’t consume processed or junk food.
- Don’t eat food that is oily, spicy or heavy on the stomach.
- Don’t eat citrus fruits as they can irritate the blisters in the mouth.
- Don’t scratch the blisters as they can leave permanent scars on your skin.
- Don’t wear tight clothing.
Do’s of chickenpox
- Do eat a healthy home-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Do hydrate yourself by consuming lots of water and fluids.
- Do take oatmeal or baking soda baths regularly.
- Do keep washing your hands regularly to avoid infections causing by scratching blisters.
- Do keep monitoring your temperature.
- Do get some adequate rest.
What to eat when you have chickenpox?
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to replenish the body with ample nutrition. Eat light home cooked food. Avoid food that is heavy on the stomach. Stay away from processed food and junk food. Fruits like watermelons, bananas or apple are good for the body. Consume food rich in zinc such as beans, vegetables, and pulses. Eat food rich in calcium and magnesium such as milk, yogurt, and beans. Garlic and turmeric can be extremely good for boosting your immunity against further infections.