chickenpox (varicella) sarah fisher. what is chickenpox? highly contagious disease caused by...

Download CHICKENPOX (VARICELLA) Sarah Fisher. What is Chickenpox? Highly contagious disease caused by Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) On of the most commonly contracted

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  • What is Chickenpox? Highly contagious disease caused by Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) On of the most commonly contracted childhood diseases Usually mild and not life- threatening to otherwise healthy patients Potentially severe in infants, adults and others with impaired immune systems Infections cause long-term immunitysecond infections are rare
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  • History 1500s: Believed to have been first discovered by Giovanni Fillipo in Italy 1600s: English physician Richard Morton gave the disease the name chickenpox because he believed it was a milder version of smallpox 1700s: English physician William Heberden became the first physician to prove that chickenpox and smallpox were two different diseases
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  • History Cont. 1888: Relationship between Herpes Zoster and chickenpox was suggested 1986: Complete DNA sequence of VZV was established 1995: FDA approved vaccine to immunize children and other susceptible individuals against chickenpox
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  • Transmission One of the most readily transmissible diseases Can be spread from person to person by: Direct contact with fluid from the blisters Direct contact with secretions from the respiratory tract Handling an infected persons clothing or bedding Exposure to the coughing or sneezing of an infected person (airborne) Touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters Susceptibility is universal among those not previously infected Greatest number of cases occur in the winter/early spring
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  • Symptoms Symptoms usually start about two weeks after exposure Fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, headache, an itchy rash Rash generally starts as little red spots on the chest, stomach or back and then spreads to the face Infected patient may only get a few spots, a large cluster or develop hundreds of spots during the first 3-5 days of the rash Spots turn into clear, fluid-filled blisters and eventually turn to scabs (2-4 days) Very contagious 1-2 days before rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs
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  • Complications Not common in otherwise healthy people People with more severe risks for complications: Infants Adolescents Adults Pregnant women People with weakened immune systems because of illness or medications 1/400 patients need hospitalization Approx. 90 deaths/year
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  • Complications Cont. Serious complications include: Dehydration Pneumonia Bleeding problems Brain infection/inflammation Bacterial infects of the skin/soft tissues Blood stream infections (Sepsis) Toxic shock syndrome Bone infections Joint infections Chickenpox remains latent and may recur years later as Herpes Zoster (shingles) Risk increases with age and for those with HIV
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  • Prevention The best way to prevent the disease is to get vaccinated98% percent effective Children, adolescents and adults should have two doses With the vaccine, it is still possible to contract the disease but it will be much more mild with fewer blisters and a mild or no fever Vaccine is required for attendance in day care and schools
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  • Prevention Cont. If you have never had chickenpox, vaccinated or not, you should stay away from any infected people Some newborn babies, any immune-deficient child and any susceptible persons over 14 years of age who have not been previously vaccinated may need a shot of varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) to try and prevent chickenpox contraction after exposure
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  • Treatment Acetaminophen can be given to reduce fever Aspirin should not be given because it may cause Reye syndrome Calamine lotion, antihistamines and oatmeal baths can be given to help reduce itching Acyclovir is a new drug now given to some patients within the first day after rash onset to make the symptoms milder
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  • Epidemiology Varicella is endemic in the US with seasonal fluctuation Between 150,000-200,000 cases are reported annually to the CDC (1998) Highest attack rates are in children ages 50960% of all cases
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  • Epidemiology Cont. By adulthood, 90-95% of the US population have antibodies to varicella In the tropics, varicella occurs more often in adults so immigrants from these areas are more likely to be susceptible than the rest of the population at comparable ages
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  • Herpes Zoster (Shingles) Reactivation of latent varicella zoster virus (VZV) Associated with aging, immunosuppression, in-utero exposure to varicella, and postnatal varicella (before 18 months) In the immunocompromised, zoster can disseminate, causing generalized skin lesions, and central nervous system (CNS), pulmonary, and hepatic involvement
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  • Sources chickenpox.html chickenpox.html 08.asp#head001002000000000 08.asp#head001002000000000


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