Have you ever been diagnosed with chickenpox? If not, you better be cautious. It’s something that you can easily get without really noticing at first.

Chickenpox is an infectious disease that people get from the Varicella zoster virus.  This virus is easily spread through inhalation or direct contact with viral particles from the vesicular skin lesions or from tiny respiratory droplets of an infected person.

This makes chickenpox a highly contagious disease.  A person who gets infected remains contagious 1 to 2 days before the rash appears until all lesions have formed scabs (usually 5-7 days after appearance of rash).

Chickenpox is known as a childhood disease; more often than not, children are the ones who become infected. However, it’s not unusual for adults to acquire the disease as well.

Knowing the scars and painful symptoms caused by chickenpox, many parents are still wondering whether the disease can be prevented.
And the answer? Yes, it can be avoided. Read on to find out how.

Vaccination. Pediatricians recommend that children be injected with the chickenpox vaccine as early as their first year of age. This boosts a child’s  immune system, helping the body fight off any future chickenpox infection. Doctors recommend 2 doses of the vaccine. So far, this is is the best way to prevent chickenpox.

Other ways to minimize the chances of a chickenpox infection or at least prevent it from spreading to more people are the following:

Consult a doctor immediately when the patient shows early signs of chickenpox. It’s always better to treat the disease while in the early stages, in order to prevent serious complications and prevent spread to the community. If symptoms are present in your child, bring him/her to the nearest clinic for check-up.

Promote proper hygiene within the household. Since varicella virus can be passed on from one person to another through direct contact, or contact with body fluids, it’s a good idea to keep one’s hands and body clean.

Teach your children to maintain cleanliness. By simply washing their hands and taking regular showers, they can help prevent a chickenpox infection as well as other diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. – i would remove this part since this will not really prevent spread of chickenpox since this is mainly airborne.

Avoid crowded areas when an epidemic is on the rise. Since chickenpox is an airborne disease, you can easily inhale virus-laden droplets floating in the air.  Staying in a crowded place increases your chances of being exposed to these airborne droplets.

Advise your children to avoid overly-crowded areas, and have them wear a surgical mask or flu mask to prevent inhalation of airborne viruses, especially when the chickenpox season is approaching.

Although chickenpox often disappears after two weeks (even without treatment), the itching and the pain, as well as the disruption of work and studies, not to mention the scarring — can make patients suffer.  It’s still better to take preventive measures or seek immediate treatment to prevent worsening of this disease.