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Prevention of Chickenpox in Children

Chickenpox, caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), is an acute infectious disease. Young children, especially those under 5 years old, are highly susceptible to this contagious illness. However, not all parents are fully aware of the precise methods to prevent chickenpox in children. In the following article, Thu Cuc TCI shares information on effective preventive measures against chickenpox. Don’t miss out, parents!

1. Chickenpox: Recognizing Signs and Complications

1.1. Recognizing Signs of Chickenpox

Chickenpox spreads from person to person mainly through direct contact with fluid from skin lesions, nasal discharge, or throat secretions of infected individuals. This acute infectious disease presents with several characteristic symptoms. Here are some signs parents can use to identify chickenpox in children:

– Skin lesions: Chickenpox lesions typically appear on the head, face, neck, and trunk. They often start as red spots that may vary in color intensity as the disease progresses. Initially smooth, they gradually become raised due to fluid accumulation. The lesions are relatively uniform in size and scattered across the body, causing itching and discomfort.

Recognizing Signs of Chickenpox in Children

Chickenpox lesions typically appear on the head, face, neck, and trunk

– Fever: Children with chickenpox usually develop mild to moderate fever, ranging from 37.5 to 38.5 degrees Celsius. However, in some cases, fever may rise above 39 degrees Celsius.

– Headache: Headache is a common symptom of chickenpox.

– Loss of appetite: Lesions may also appear on the oral mucosa, causing pain and loss of appetite.

– Fatigue: Children with chickenpox often experience fatigue and malaise.

1.2. Complications of Chickenpox

While chickenpox is generally not life-threatening, like any acute infectious disease, it has exceptions and potential complications:

– Secondary bacterial infections: These can occur when children scratch and break the skin lesions.

– Pneumonia: In immunocompromised children, chickenpox can lead to pneumonia.

– Hepatitis: Some reports indicate that chickenpox can cause hepatitis.

– Encephalitis: Although rare, chickenpox can lead to encephalitis, a serious condition that can permanently affect a child’s brain function.

– Bloodstream infections: In rare cases, chickenpox can lead to bloodstream infections, requiring immediate medical intervention.

2. Preventing Chickenpox in Children

2.1. Preventing Cross-infection of Chickenpox

Parents can prevent chickenpox in children through various methods, including:

– Avoiding contact with infected individuals: Since the varicella-zoster virus primarily spreads through direct contact with body fluids of infected individuals, parents should avoid exposing their children to those with chickenpox.

– Promoting personal hygiene: Regular handwashing and teaching children not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands can help prevent infection.

2.2. Specific Chickenpox Prevention Measures for Children

While the above methods significantly reduce the risk of children contracting chickenpox, the most effective prevention method for this acute infectious disease is vaccination.

Chickenpox Prevention Measures for Children

The most effective prevention method for chickenpox is vaccination

2.2.1. Types of Chickenpox Vaccines

Several chickenpox vaccines have been developed and are circulating worldwide. Here are some of the most common ones:

– Varivax: Produced by Merck, Varivax is widely used in many countries. It contains attenuated varicella-zoster virus.

– ProQuad (MMRV): ProQuad is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. Also manufactured by Merck.

– ChinMax (Varilrix): ChinMax is primarily used in some European countries. Produced by GlaxoSmithKline, it contains attenuated varicella-zoster virus.

– Priorix-Tetra: Developed by Sanofi Pasteur, Priorix-Tetra is a combination vaccine containing measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella-zoster viruses. However, it’s not a natural chickenpox vaccine, and its usage for chickenpox prevention may vary depending on each country’s health regulations.

Varilrix by GlaxoSmithKline is the commonly used chickenpox vaccine in Vietnam.

2.2.2. Varilrix Vaccination Schedule

Typically, the Varilrix vaccination schedule for children includes:

– First dose: Usually administered at around 12-15 months of age.

– Second dose: Typically given at around 4-6 years of age.

Parents should note that the Varilrix vaccination schedule may vary depending on local healthcare guidelines and the child’s specific health condition.

Chickenpox Prevention Measures for Children

Parents must ensure their children receive the complete chickenpox vaccination

In summary, chickenpox is a common infectious disease identifiable by scattered skin lesions containing fluid, causing itching and pain. This infectious disease can lead to complications such as pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis, and bloodstream infections in some cases. Treating chickenpox is straightforward, with basic medical support alleviating symptoms. However, prevention is always better than cure. Currently, there are vaccines available for preventing chickenpox. Vaccination is the most effective method for preventing this acute infectious disease in children. Therefore, parents must ensure their children receive the complete chickenpox vaccination. Various chickenpox vaccines are available worldwide, with Varilrix being commonly used in Vietnam. The Varilrix vaccination schedule typically involves two doses administered at specific ages, but it may vary based on local healthcare regulations and the child’s health status.

Above are the methods for preventing chickenpox in children. Hopefully, they will help ensure children’s safety against this prevalent acute infectious disease.

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