Chickenpox – Advice for Parents
What is it ?
Chickenpox is a mild illness caused by a virus.
How is it spread ?
Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease and is usually spread through the air from person to person by small droplets which are produced by the coughs and sneezes of those with the illness. Occasionally, it may be spread by the direct contact with ‘weeping’ skin lesions of someone with chickenpox.
What are the symptoms ?
Chickenpox is like a mild case of ‘flu’ with a rash. The rash starts out as groups of raised red spots which then develop into small blisters which eventually scab over in 3-4 days. Chickenpox is mainly a disease of children and is usually, but not always, a mild illness.
How can it be prevented ?
Good hygiene, use of disposable tissues and thorough environmental cleaning. It is difficult to prevent the spread of chickenpox from person to person. If you think that your child has chickenpox keep him/her away from school. Contact your GP and inform school of the diagnosis of your child’s illness.
Children with chickenpox should remain away from school until 5 days after the onset of the rash, and until clinically well enough to return to school. This will assist in the prevention of spread to others at school.
Contacts of cases of chickenpox that are pregnant should be advised to contact their GP promptly.