Do You Recognize the Early Warning Signs of Chickenpox?
Posted on June 28, 2018 | Author and Reviewed by: Mark Anthony M. Casilla RPH, MS pharm (cand)
What are the early warning signs of chickenpox?
- Flu-like symptoms
Chickenpox is one of the most common illnesses in the world. It can affect almost 90 percent of individuals, mostly children. It can also be dangerous women who have taken pregnancy tests in the Philippines and are expecting mothers to come into contact with the varicella-zoster or herpes virus. Chickenpox often shows up all over the body in the form of itchy rashes in red spots called pox.
As long as you or your child is healthy when you contract this disease, chickenpox is usually nothing more than a mild inconvenience and will only last for just a few weeks. Chickenpox generally never comes back once it has been dealt with already as a child. In some rare cases, however, when adults get chickenpox later on in their life, the infection can be hard to fight off and can even turn into shingles, especially in the case of seniors with low immunity or pregnant women.
Here are the early warning signs of chickenpox that you should know about:
Because chickenpox is highly contagious, it is possible for almost everyone in the same household as somebody with the disease to get it when they are exposed either through direct or airborne contact. In fact, if a person lives with someone that develops the condition, 90 percent of those living in the same household can contract it too according to research done by the U.S Center for Disease Control or CDC. This is one of the reasons why most people have already had chickenpox by the time they become adults.
While chickenpox can be mild, most individuals can show the symptoms within 10-21 days after being in direct contact with a person infected with the disease. For most people, the first sign of the illness will be a mild headache that usually starts out a day or so before the chickenpox rash appears. This headache can range in severity, but typically, it will slowly turn into a severe headache or even a migraine by the time the pox appears. Infants and those with low immunity like soon-to-be mothers in the Philippines that used pregnancy tests may suffer more severe symptoms.
Many people that have suffered from chickenpox often complained about noticing symptoms that are similar to the flu such as a fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, and nausea during the days before the rashes break out.
This is usually mistaken for an innocent bout of flu or cold virus, but the characteristic chickenpox rash usually then happens within four to five days. The rashes will then quickly tell you that what you or your child has is indeed the chickenpox and not the flu.
Headaches, fever, and muscle aches will typically cause you pain, but you can reduce the high fever and discomfort with a mild over-the-counter painkiller. Just remember to look out for unexpected reactions in the skin from non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen and follow the instructions for dosages closely.
If your child also has a history of stomach issues or asthma, or if your child is less than three months old, avoid ibuprofen and ask your doctor or pharmacist for alternative pain relief options.
Patients with chickenpox will often feel lacking in energy, irritable, tired, and generally feel uncomfortable or unwell. Someone with the chickenpox will probably feel something very similar to having bad flu because the disease can cause itching, tiredness, pains, aches, and blister-like rashes.
As the body fights off the disease, you may be uncomfortable, exhausted, and very ill. The period which you need to recover until you are no longer contagious might make you miss a week of work or school.
As with any illness, it is always better to consult your doctor once you suspect that you or your child has chickenpox.
Your doctor can diagnose the disease through the presence of the symptoms that accompany it and also prescribe you medications to reduce the severity of the complications.