Varicella-Zoster Virus (Chickenpox)
Dr. Anita Joshi
Associate professor, Department of Botany
Poddar International College, Jaipur

Chickenpox or varicella is a contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The virus is responsible for chickenpox (usually primary infection in non-immune hosts) and herpes zoster or shingles (following reactivation of latent infection). Chickenpox results in a skin rash that forms small, itchy blisters, which scabs over. It typically starts on the chest, back, and face and then spreads. It is accompanied by fever, fatigue, pharyngitis, and headaches which usually last five to seven days. Complications include pneumonia, brain inflammation, and bacterial skin infections. The disease is more severe in adults than in children. Chickenpox spreads very easily to people who haven't had the disease or haven't gotten the chickenpox vaccine. Chickenpox used to be a widespread problem, but today the vaccine protects children from it.
The initial infection is in the mucosa of the upper airways. After 2-6 days, the virus enters the circulation and another bout of viremia occurs in 10-12 days. At the blister stage, intense pruritus is present. Blisters may occur on the palms, soles, and genital area. Commonly, visible evidence develops in the oral cavity and tonsil areas in the form of small ulcers which can be painful and itchy; this enanthem may precede the external exanthem by one to three days. These symptoms appear ten to 21 days after exposure. Adults may have a more widespread rash and longer fever, and they are more likely to develop pneumonia, the most important complication in adults. Poddar International College ensures that all the students understand the concepts clearly, focusing on the basics.
• Avoid scratching or rubbing the itchy areas. Keep fingernails short to avoid damaging the skin from scratching.
• Wear cool, light, loose bedclothes. Avoid wearing rough clothing, particularly wool, over an itchy area.
• Take lukewarm baths using little soap and rinse thoroughly. Try a skin-soothing oatmeal or cornstarch bath.
• Apply a soothing moisturizer after bathing to soften and cool the skin.
• Avoid prolonged exposure to excessive heat and humidity.
• Try over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on itchy areas.
• The chickenpox vaccine is a safe way to prevent this illness and the other health problems that can happen during it.
Poddar International College offers several courses, diplomas and PhD programs in large varieties of subjects such as BCA, MCA, B. Com, M. Com, B. A, M. A, B.Sc., M.Sc., D. Pharma, B.Ed., Management studies, Paramedical Science, Design and many more.

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