Ahhhh, that lovely childhood infection
Chicken pox (varicella-zoster virus) is usually contracted by kids but that isn’t always the case. Teens and adults can get it too and it’s usually worse the older you are. Better to get it while you’re younger. Back in my day, when a kid got chicken pox, you’d bring your kid to their house to expose them early. Symptoms usually start with a fever, headache, sore throat, and your kid will just generally feel icky. After a couple days, they will get the spots that are the recognizable portion of chicken pox. They will be a blister that will burst, then dry, then scab over. You can expect these spots to appear over the period of about a week. Your child will have to stay home from school until the spots have totally cleared up (scabbed over) which can be as many as 10 days. Again, it just depends on the severity of their case of chicken pox.
The severity of the spots will differ between each person. Some barely get them at all and others will have them down their throats and in their mouths. Can you even imagine??!!?? *shudder* My case wasn’t that bad at all, thank God.
Since chicken pox is viral, there’s no medicine that will cure it. The patient has to fight the virus on their own which can be hell for parent and child, especially if they have a really bad case. About the only thing you can do is give them the good ol’ calamine lotion and cover the spots with pink goop.
There is a vaccine available for chicken pox that will often greatly reduce the severity if the disease if they contract it. Most kids that get the vaccine get a super mild case and heal quickly.
Now here’s the icky news: if you’ve ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for developing shingles. And I’m not talking the things that go on the roof. Kids can get shingles but most often they are seen in adults. There’s no way to predict who will get them and who won’t which kinda sucks. The thing about the chicken pox virus is that it can hang out in the nervous system in a dormant state. For reasons unknown, the virus becomes active in the nerves that lie just below the surface of the skin. This causes painful blisters to form in large patches of the body. The flare-ups have to clear on their own and are people are contagious while they are having a flare-up so they have to be careful. If they work or live with someone who hasn’t had chicken pox before, they can pass it on.
Did any of you have a bad episode of chicken pox or was it pretty mild? Anyone get shingles or know someone who did?