Chickenpox is caused by the herpes zoster virus with an incubation period of 10-21 days. The child is deemed infectious from 48 hours before the spots appear until 5 days after when the spots have blistered. It is most common under the age of 10.
Symptoms include being off colour/general tiredness and a fever with crops of itchy blister type spots that usually start on face and head and quickly cover the rest of the body.
Cautions- Need to contact your GP if your child is immunosuppressed, if your child is under four weeks and if your child has any contact with any non-immune pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.
Management- Exclude from day care for five days. Avoid ibuprofen (increased infection risk as reduces inflammatory markers). Give paracetamol if in distress. Chlorphenamine (Piriton) over the counter from the age of one may improve itching. Calamine lotion over the counter to reduce itching.
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