Chicken pox (varicella) is an acute infectious disease primarily of childhood, characterized by fever and rash on the skin and mucous membranes in the form of small bubbles with clear content.
Causes of chicken pox or varicella
The causative agent of chickenpox is a virus of the herpes group (identical to the causative agent of herpes zoster – herpes zoster). This virus spreads quickly in enclosed spaces and easily transmitted by airborne droplets through the mucous membranes of the eyes and upper respiratory tract, and because the disease is called chicken pox.
The source of infection is a sick chickenpox, contagious 1-2 days before the onset of the disease, as well as during the onset of the rash, and the presence of direct contact with him for not necessarily of infection: the virus is very volatile and easily into adjacent rooms and even apartments. However, it is not resistant in the environment, so through third parties and objects rarely applies.
Features of chickenpox:
- predisposition to the disease inherent in the DNA
- is inactivated at a temperature of 50-52 degrees for 30 minutes;
- is sensitive to ultraviolet radiation;
- tolerates low temperatures, repeated freezing and thawing.
Transplacental transmission of the disease is possible, but only while infecting the pregnant women.
The entrance gate is the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. The blood virus is stored mainly in the epithelial cells of the skin and in mucous membranes. Perhaps the defeat of the internal organs (liver, spleen, lungs, pancreas, etc.), which formed small foci of necrosis with hemorrhage on the periphery. After suffering chickenpox remains a strong immunity.
Symptoms of chicken pox (varicella)
The incubation period lasts from 11 to 23 days (average 14 days). The disease usually begins an acute increase in temperature and almost simultaneous eruption of the skin, scalp and mucous membranes, which lasts for 3-4 days, sometimes longer.
The primary element of the rash – small spot or papule (nodule), which very quickly (a few hours) turn into a vesicle (bubble) with redness around it. After 1-3 days, the bubble bursts and dries up, starting from the centre, gradually turning into a dense crust, after no scars which usually does not happen.
Mostly chicken pox vesicles of a round form located on reinvestirovanie the skin. Because chicken pox appear all at once, and with intervals of 1-2 days, the skin at the same time you can see the elements of the rash in different stages of development (spot, nodule, vesicle, crust), the so – called false polymorphism rash.
Sometimes the disease begins with a short prodrome (subfebrile temperature, deterioration of health). Before the chicken pox rash elements, and often in the maximum period of rash may appear scarlatina or morbilliform rash.
Distinguish between typical (mild, moderate and severe) and atypical forms of chickenpox.
When mild form General condition of the patient satisfactory. The temperature is sometimes normal, but often low-grade, rarely exceeding 38°. Skin rash not abundant, mucous membranes – in the form of single elements. The duration of rash 2-4 days.
For moderate form is characterized by slight intoxication, fever, is quite abundant rash and itching. The duration of the rash for 4-5 days. As it dries the vesicles at normal temperature and improves health of the patient.
Severe form is characterized by profuse rash on the skin and mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, genitals. A high temperature, vomiting, lack of appetite, poor sleep, anxiety of the child to severe itching. The rash duration of 7-9 days.
To include atypical rudimentary shapes and forms with the so-called aggerverband symptoms (generalized, hemorrhagic, gangrenous).
In rudimentary form, which occurs mainly in children during the first months of life, there are sporadic eruptions – small papules with a barely incipient bubble. General condition of the child does not suffer. The temperature is normal or subfebrile.
Form aggerverband symptoms are rare, occur is extremely difficult and often end fatally. They occur mainly in debilitated children with altered immunity (e.g., in children, leukemia patients, long treated with steroids and cytostatics).
Generalized (disseminated or visceral) form accompanied by fever, severe intoxication, profuse eruption of vesicles on the skin, mucous membranes and internal organs.
In hemorrhagic content bubbles form is hemorrhagic in nature, there are hemorrhages into the skin, mucous membranes, epistaxis, hematemesis, hemoptysis, hematuria, bleeding in the internal organs.
Gangrenous form characterized by the appearance on the skin along with the usual lesions are areas of necrosis or dry gangrene, scabbed, after dropout which found deep ulcers with dirty bottom and saped edges.
Chicken Pox in children
In children during the first 2 months of life chickenpox is a little more common in mild or rudimentary form. In General, in children aged 2 months to 1 year, the disease often proceeds hard, with complications (otitis, pneumonia, pyoderma, etc.). But for children of kindergarten and primary school age, the disease does not cause severe symptoms. Therefore, we can say that if a person had chicken pox in childhood. Easy for chicken pox to 12 years is observed, then the severity of the disease increases.
In adults, chickenpox can be very hard, with so-called primary varicella pneumonia, encephalitis.
Especially dangerous for pregnant women, since, migrated in the first months of pregnancy, it can lead to severe fetal disease or fetal death, and in late pregnancy can cause premature birth or the development of congenital varicella. The prognosis in these cases is very serious, as the disease is atypical, and children die from dissemination of varicella.
Complications usually arise in connection with the accession of secondary infection (pyoderma, abscess, cellulitis, sepsis, etc.). Sometimes at 5-7-th day from the onset of the disease develops meningoencephalitis viral and allergic origin. Also described isolated cases of nephritis, focal myocarditis.