Chickenpox is an acute viral infection accompanied by intoxication of the organism and damage of the mucous membranes and skin by a characteristic rash. The disease is caused by a virus that is unstable in the environment and dies quickly under the influence of sunlight, heat, ultraviolet radiation. Only a sick man is a source of the disease.
Initial symptoms of the disease are similar to a slight cold or flu. It is not clear at the beginning whether it is chickenpox or not. Primary symptoms are as follows:
- weakness accompanied by the loss of appetite;
- inconsiderable temperature rise to 37.3 – 37.5 degrees;
- aching joints and muscles;
- scratchy throat.Photophobia, convulsions and impaired coordination may occur in the initial stage of the disease (before the rash appears) but it’s a relatively rare phenomenon.The latent period of the disease in both adults and children lasts no more than three weeks.
The main symptoms reveal themselves when the rash on the body appears.
As soon as pink spots on the head and face appear, a period of rash starts that is characterized by the following symptoms:
- intoxication strengthens;
- high temperature (up to 40C);
- weakness.Chickenpox rash is very specific, so it’s usually not difficult to make the diagnosis. At the very beginning the rash may occur in any parts of the body except the head and face. These places become involved into the process a bit later. Abundant rash all over the body provokes severe itching of the skin, Rash also appears on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and mouth. Patients older than 20 years also suffer from a genital rash that causes a very strong pain during urination.Separate elements of rash become dry in a couple of days and disappear without any traces and scars. Rash elements of different development stage exist up to two to three weeks on the body. It’s worth noting that there is no chickenpox without rash.
The rash looks like small reddish bumps which burst releasing a liquid and afterwards forming a dry crust, which does not leave scars provided a regular and correct treatment. But if the infection penetrates a wound, the disease is complicated by oozing pustules that leave scars on the body.
Many groups of lymph nodes are enlarged and become extremely painful during palpation.
Rash is usually of periodic character. It lasts for a few days and as new elements appear, a new rise of body temperature occurs. The rash may appear anywhere, except the palms and soles, where it is not typical. If a patient’s immune system is weakened, the rash may trigger the development of abscesses and even sepsis.