Chickenpox, which is also known as varicella, is a contagious airborne virus that is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. This highly contagious virus is extremely common and generally affects those who have not been vaccinated. The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets and can cause an itchy, blister-like rash, sometimes accompanied by fever, headache, fatigue, and sore throat. Although most people will recover in about a week, symptoms for some can last for up to two weeks or more, and in some cases, it can even lead to more serious complications.
The best way to reduce your risk of infection from chickenpox is to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the most effective way to reduce your risk of chickenpox and is recommended for all individuals over the age of 12 months. There are two main types of vaccination available; the first is the combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the second is the varicella vaccine. Both vaccines provide protection against chickenpox, however, the combined MMR vaccine also provides protection against measles and mumps.
Good hygiene practices is important in preventing transmission of chickenpox. It is important to cover any open sores or lesions with a clean bandage, and maintain a high level of cleanliness in the home. Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and water, avoid sharing food and drinks, and avoid sharing towels, clothing, or other personal items including toys.
Avoiding High-Risk Areas
It is also important to avoid visiting high-risk areas. If you know someone who has chickenpox, it is best to avoid visiting them or any other high-risk areas such as schools and daycares. Additionally, individuals with chickenpox should not go out in public or visit crowded places such as grocery stores, movie theaters, or shopping malls until their rash has healed and all the blisters have scabbed over.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious virus and can lead to serious complications if it is not treated properly. Vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of infection, however, it is important to take other precautions such as practicing good hygiene and avoiding high-risk areas. Following these safety measures can help to reduce your risk of contracting chickenpox and other health related issues.