Chickenpox a Communicable Disease
Grand Canyon University: NRS-427V
July 5, 2015
Chickenpox is an infection caused by the highly contagious varicella-zoster virus. A common communicable disease which can be a harmless or deadly disease depending on the community which is affected. Education and healthcare prevention will prove evident in the control of the spread of the chickenpox disease.
Chickenpox is an airborne disease which is spread by coughing and sneezing of an infected person or direct contact with skin lesions. The initial symptoms of chickenpox are a fever, fatigue, loss of ...view middle of the document...
Irregular outbreaks usually occur in the spring or winter months. In a healthy child, chickenpox is harmless. Most chickenpox infections occur in those children age five and under and immunity increases with age until adulthood. Chickenpox can be severe in babies, adults, and people with debilitated immune systems such as: “HIV / AIDS, cancer patients, patients who have received transplants, patients receiving chemotherapy or immunosuppressive medications or long-term steroid use” (Centers for Disease Control, 2014). Potential problems which may be exhibited from the chickenpox include: “dehydration, bleeding problems, infection or inflammation of the brain, bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including Group A streptococcal infections, sepsis, toxic shock syndrome, bone and joint infections” (CDC, 2014). People with serious complications from chickenpox may need to be hospitalized or death may even occur.
The most effective and safest way of preventing one from getting the chickenpox is to receive the vaccination. Two doses of the vaccine are required for children, adolescents and adults. “Two doses of the vaccine are about 98% effective at preventing chickenpox” (CDC, 2014). Most vaccinated people will not get the chickenpox however, if one does acquire the chickenpox it is typically milder and with less blisters and mild or no fever. To help relieve the symptoms and prevent skin infections calamine lotion and oatmeal baths maybe used to help relieve some of the itching. Fingernails should be neatly trimmed and kept short as to help prevent skin contaminations caused by itching blisters. A non-aspirin, such as Tylenol may be used as a fever reducer. “The use of aspirin in children with chickenpox has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, a severe disease that affects the liver and brain and can cause death” (CDC, 2014). For people who are at risk for developing serious complications a physician should be contacted. Antiviral medications such as acyclovir is approved for treatment of chickenpox and maybe prescribed by the physician if deemed necessary.
By adulthood, almost everyone will get the chickenpox. That is “more than 95% of Americans” (Statistics about Chickenpox, n.d.). The Center for Disease Control estimates that “4 million cases of chickenpox occur each year. Approximately 1 in 2,254 or 0.04% or 120,624 people in the United States of America” (Statistics about Chickenpox, n.d.). “Every year there are approximately 5,000-9,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths from the chickenpox in the United States” (Statistics about Chickenpox, n.d.). Vaccination is the key to the success of a decrease in the incidence and mortality of the disease.
Since chickenpox is a highly contagious disease it is important for communities to be vaccinated to deter the distribution of the disease among each other. People living in a low socio-economic population have little or no access to medical...