Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body and it is common childhood disease caused by a virus in the herpes family of viruses called the varicella virus. The varicella virus can remain in the body for decades and become active again in adults, causing herpes zoster (shingles). Shingles involves the occurrence of painful skin sores along the distribution of nerves across the trunk or face.
Itchy blisters on a red base, progressing to scabs, appear along with newer blisters, mainly on the trunk, face, and scalp and last 5 to 10 days. Other symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness and loss of appetite.The chickenpox rash occurs about 10 to 21 days after coming into contact with someone who had the disease. The average child develops 250 to 500 small, itchy, fluid-filled blisters over red spots on the skin.
There are several things that can be done at home to help relieve the symptoms and prevent skin infections. Calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching. Keeping fingernails trimmed short may help prevent skin infections caused by scratching blisters.
Age-specific force of varicella infection, hospitalisation and death rates in non-immune persons were calculated using an age-based mathematical model and national data for France. A cost-effectiveness model was then applied to hypothetical cohorts of persons aged 15-45 years with a negative or uncertain history of varicella. Vaccination strategies with and without prior serotesting, and healthcare payer perspective and societal perspective were considered. A sensitivity analysis was performed. Vaccination prevented more than one third of all varicella-related deaths. With serotesting, compared with no intervention, the cost per case avoided and per year of life saved for subjects aged 15 years were 335 and 55,100 Euro, respectively.