Friday, 30 May 2008

Chickenpox

Incidentally or coincidentally, I happened to have few discussions and readings about this of late. Just capturing the learnings here.

Its defined as the following.
'An acute contagious disease caused by herpes varicella zoster virus; causes a rash of vesicles on the face and body'.

I live in Sweden and this HVZ virus seems quite common here. I was alarmed when our colleague Naveen and his 7 months old daughter got infected. Subsequently we travelled to India and I discussed with two paediatricians about giving the vaccination to Arjun. One of them practicing in a town nearer to my native village, 17 years of experience in Paediatrics,did not recommend the vaccine. The reason he stated was, "all my patients are from rural area and very poor, chicken pox vaccine is expensive(1600INR), this disease is not a dangerous one, it may occur just once in a lifetime, so I dont say this is a mandatory one". The other paediatrician is in Chennai and he instantly said, "go for it, as you say this virus is common in Sweden".

My friend Sushila stated, she read in a weekly that cleanliness can prevent this. But I dont agree. As per what I know, this virus can quickly spread via the air. If an infected person sneezes or coughs, and the one who gets exposed to it can get infected.

Ideally the vaccination must prevent this disease. But, my friend Sireesha's 2 years old son has got infected beyond being vaccinated. Her doctor answered her, "one in 100 children may get it, inspite of the vaccination". So, vaccination does not guarentee you 100%. And noramlly once someone gets infected by this virus, their body develops antibodies and hence becomes immune to the virus for lifetime. But I read in the web that some may get it more than once too.

And in India, we associate this with 'Goddes Amman', and all what we do in the name of God, actually prevents the virus to spread out and also decreses the intensity of the disease.
1.We restrict the infected one at home, we dont let visitors.
2.Neem leaves bed
3.Tender coconut drink
4.Once the boils start healing,give bath with turmeric water.

I feel the kids must get the vaccination and also we must practice cleanliness and we may prevent this.

1 comment:

Shanti said...

hey, I got chicken pox more than once.... About vaccination, I need to wait and see. Ashish has been given this vaccination. Yesterday I saw a notice in his school that they found a case of chicken pox, so all mothers are alerted and asked to keep watch on their kids for any rashes :( Hope Ashish doesn't get it...