Notes on the Mode of Transmission, clinical findings and prevention of Chickenpox

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Definition:

It is an infectious disease caused by Varicella characterized clinically by mild general symptoms and small vesicular eruptions of the skin and mucous membrane it is a common disease of our country.

Mode of Transmission:

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The nature of the infection is not known, but the liquid contents of the vesicles can transmit the disease. One attack gives immunity for life and repeated attacks are very rare. Though from the very beginning it is conta­gious yet it is more harmful when the eruption is dry and scabs fall.

Incubation Period:

The usual period of incubation is 14 days, but may be as short as 4 days and as long as 27 days.

Clinical Features:

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In children the symptom are mild but in abuts fever, headache, pain in limbs and back and loss of appetite precede the eruption. At first small groups of tiny mauls are visible on the trunk. Then they spread to the face and limbs. After a few days they converted into different forms the evolution of the rash is very rapid. The evolution of the rash is completed within 5 days. Scabs fall off within 14 days after the rash begins to appear.

Prevention:

(i) The patient should be isolated for about a week, till the lesions have crusted;

(ii) Disinfection of oral and nasal discharges should be done by burning;

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(iii) Terminal disinfection of the room should be done by washing with soap water;

(iv) As no active immunization of chickenpox is at present available, one should not confuse it with mild cases of smallpox, which is a fatal disease.

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