MÉRIDA, Yucatan, Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It produces a rash with blisters, itching, tiredness and fever. The rash first appears on the stomach, back and face, and can then spread throughout the body, said Dr. María Elena Pérez Escutia, Head of the Pediatrics Service of the APP Mérida Hospital Clinic of the ISSSTE, located in Susulá.
She commented that in general, chickenpox disease lasts from 4 to 7 days. “The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy fluid-filled blisters, which eventually crust over.”
She said that chickenpox causes general malaise, fever and a rash on skin and mucous membranes with small, very itchy vesicles that when they burst leave a scab and finally a mark, this will depend on taking care of the scab since this is the repair of the lesion. Infection occurs 10 to 21 days after exposure.
He informed that many doctors divide chickenpox in three phases after the outbreak, the first phase with the appearance of papules or small pimples that are filled with liquid reaching the second phase which is the vesicles that are these granites filled with transparent water, when they break and drain all the content they dry and form scab which is the third phase this takes several days to repair the skin, if the scab is torn off there will be a scar and according to its depth it will be reversible or will leave a scar.
She commented that chickenpox in general is mild, but it can be generalized, covering the whole body including mucous membranes such as eyes, urethra, anus and vagina, which is very painful and annoying, the pain can require these patients to be hospitalized to be started on immunoglobulin therapy, which is a substance that helps the body to fight the infection.
Likewise, when the doctor detects the infection, he knows that it is viral and there is no medication to counteract the disease, but to reduce the days of discomfort, so an oral antiviral and medication that reduces itching or pruritus is indicated to avoid scars as much as possible in severe cases as well as in mild cases.
There has been information of a decrease in the number of cases of chickenpox in Yucatan, most of the cases have been reported in the municipalities bordering Campeche in the South and West Zone of the State, as well as others of greater population such as Valladolid, in the East of the State, and Merida, the capital city of Yucatan.
She mentioned that there is a vaccine as a measure to reduce the contagion, it has been known since 1970 and it is originally from Japan. This biologic can be administered together with the measles, rubella and mumps vaccine (MMR) or with the DPT vaccine (polio, hepatitis B and meningitis). Side reactions are mild: fever, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, pain and swelling at the injection site and a mild rash.