The chickenpox vaccine was created by Michiaki Takahashi in 1974. Since 1995, it has been used to immunize people from the disease. Another vaccination is required five years after the first one. There are also other treatments available to treat and relieve the symptoms.
Discovery and History
The illness was first described by the Persian scientist Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi (865-925). Before his discovery, chickenpox was considered to be the same as measles. Another pioneer in chickenpox research was Giovanni Filippo (1510-1580), who called it varicella.
It was Richard Morton who first called the disease chickenpox. The work of William Heberden in 1767 showed how different chickenpox was from smallpox. The works of these people were crucial in bringing to light facts about chickenpox. Their studies allowed doctors to devise treatments for the disease.
Signs and Symptoms
The disease is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). The most conspicuous symptom is a skin rash. These appear throughout the head and the body. Small, itchy sores appear. The blisters develop into a roughly dew drop shape.
It is situated on the red spot. In 12 hours the blisters becomes filled with fluid and it breaks. A crust is left, and a scar may be left on the skin.
These lesions can grow daily for several days. The disease is spread by coughing and sneezing. The facts about chickenpox show the illness can spread via contact with the rash. This disease can affect men, women and children. In most cases, it is more severe in males although it is rarely fatal.
The illness is more dangerous when contracted by pregnant women. If not treated properly, several health complications could arise for both the woman and the baby. Problems can include encephalitis, cataracts and damage to the spinal chord.
If the woman is infected a week before delivery, chances are high the baby will develop the disease. The creation of the vaccine in 1974 has since reduced the spread of this disease. Recent studies have shown that chickenpox can occur in gorillas and chimpanzees as well.
As more facts about chickenpox treatment came to light, various treatments were developed. Calamine lotion is one of the most widely used. Additional bacterial infection can be avoided by maintaining good hygiene. Skin washing with lukewarm water daily is required. Scratching also needs to be avoided so infection doesn’t spread.
There are also several anti itching skin creams available. One of the most common ingredients used is hdyrocortisone. Most of these ointments are applied on the skin, not the face. Another treatment for adults is acyclovir. For children, treatment includes sodium bicarbonate and antihistamine, medications that can be used to relieve itching.
Chickenpox among adults can lead to complications and other infections. If complications arise from hepatitis or pneumonia, treatment will be more difficult. Research has shown that people who develop chickenpox as children are unlikely to get infected by singles as adults.
The large number of facts about chickenpox that have been learned has limited its spread. Today, treatment of the disease is easier than ever before.