Chicken pox is a transmissible disease that often hit children from any age groups. Adults can also experience chickenpox that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The disease will cause itchy rash that creates discomfort.
dr. Ida Safitri Laksanawati, Sp.A., lecturer in pediatrics of Faculty of Medicine of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) said chickenpox was not a harmful disease. But it may threaten individuals with low immunity level and also in malnourished children and toddlers or who have other diseases such as leukimia and heart disease. Those children with low immunity may suffer from a more severe disease.
“Individuals with low immunity may contract the disease easily and have worse infections,” she said when contacted by phone on Monday (28/11).
The symptoms are fever, red and itchy rash, it is easily contracted through direct contact or air. Someone who is healthy and has not suffered from chickenpox before or exposed to the coughs and sneezes of the patient and staying in the same room with a patient will have the risk to get infected.
Ida said preventions could be done by giving a chickenpox or varicella vaccine for those who have not had it. To minimise the transmission, a patient should stay at home.
“Children with chickenpox should not go to school until the rash is completely gone in order that the disease would not be contracted,” she added.
If there is one member of family suffering from it, Ida suggested to separate them from the rest of the family, especially those that have not had vaccines or experienced the disease.
“Patients ought to stay in a separate room, if an older child gets the disease, the younger ones should stay in another room,” the specialist from Dr. Sardjito Hospital said.
Chickenpox does not need special treatment and it heals by itself. It is important, however, to keep the red resh from breaking as it can become the source of infection and leave marks difficult to remove. Medication is usually given to minimise the itching.
“Antivirus medicines will be given to patients with heavy condition such as malnutrition, or other serious diseases. Other children will heal themselves under good immunity,” she said. Therefore, keeping the body fit by keeping hygiene and healthy diet is important to reduce the risk of contracting the disease.