Non-childhood disease: why is chickenpox dangerous for adults and why …

Health Tips

In one of the previous articles, we talked about how dangerous chickenpox can be for adults. If you did not have this disease in childhood, in adulthood the course of the disease will be much more difficult, complications are possible. An acute infectious disease (caused by the highly contagious Varicella-Zoster virus) is transmitted by airborne droplets. In children, it manifests itself in the form of a rash all over the body. In adults, it is expressed in the form of herpes zoster – characteristic transparent bubbles under the ribs (do not try to squeeze them out).

The incubation period for chickenpox is two to three weeks. And the first signs are very similar to the onset of a cold. Chills, aches, weakness and fever. Dmitry Koldun encountered all this bouquet some time ago. The performer felt ill immediately after the concert. Of course, there were no thoughts about chickenpox, the Sorcerer attributed everything to SARS. The singer also did not remember exactly whether he was ill with her as a child or not. Then the musician was surprised to find on the body, under the ribs, transparent bubbles, which, out of ignorance, he began to squeeze out. And only the doctor diagnosed – chicken pox. From his father, his children fell ill with chickenpox – they suffered the disease in a mild form. It is possible that the artist has infected someone else with whom he has been in contact – chickenpox is contagious. And during the incubation period, the person himself does not know that he is sick. It is also dangerous to contact the sick person for a few more days after the last traces of the rash have disappeared from his body.

The good news is that there can be no re-infection. The ill person develops strong immunity. For those who did not get sick in childhood, doctors strongly recommend getting vaccinated. Especially if your immunity is weakened.

Meanwhile, Rospotrebnadzor experts share interesting data. Firstly, the incidence of chickenpox in Russia in 2020 decreased by 40.3% compared to 2019. At the same time, chickenpox still occupies one of the leading places in our country in terms of economic damage among infectious diseases. A significant decrease in the spread of chickenpox is associated with restrictive measures during the pandemic. Experts fear that when the measures are nevertheless lifted, there will be outbreaks of chickenpox, which are already noted in some regions. There have also been cases when the reactivation of the virus took place under the influence of the pathogen COVID-19.

Secondly, users are not sufficiently aware of the dangers of chickenpox. According to a recent survey conducted by GSK, 43% of respondents believe that chickenpox cannot manifest itself in adulthood. And every fifth thinks that the disease is mild and does not cause serious complications. And, finally, more than half of the respondents do not know about the existence of a chickenpox vaccine.

Doctors warn that chickenpox is dangerous for its complications, including:

  • pneumonia;
  • meningitis;
  • encephalitis;
  • myocarditis, etc.

At risk are children with severe chronic diseases, people with immunodeficiency, newborns who became infected in utero. And if the disease is mild, the virus does not disappear, but remains in the body forever. When the immune system fails, the virus will manifest itself in the form of shingles. That, in turn, manifests itself in the form of severe pain.

Another misconception is to think that chickenpox is not dangerous for children. Most are tolerated in a mild form, yes, but there are 5-10% of children in whom chickenpox occurs with complications up to disability. The most severe is chickenpox encephalitis, which can lead to the development of mental disorders, blindness, deafness, and even the death of a child, emphasizes Alexander Gorelov, deputy director for research at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor.

The most reasonable, experts say, is to get vaccinated against chickenpox in adulthood, if you did not get sick in childhood. Yes, no vaccine provides 100% protection, but you can be sure that the course of the disease when infected will not be severe. Vaccination is especially recommended for women planning a pregnancy. During pregnancy, vaccination is prohibited. Also at risk are specialists working with children and adolescents, that is, teachers and educators, doctors.

The chickenpox vaccine is not mandatory, which means that you can only get it for a fee.

Photo: globallookpress,

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