The incubation period of chickenpox in adults. The first symptoms, treatment and complications of chicken pox in adults
A chickenpox is considered to be a childhood disease. Indeed, it is worthwhile for one child to appear in the kindergarten with this virus, as everyone begins to get sick massively. However, there are lucky people who are avoided by this misfortune. And even being in direct contact with the patient, a person is immune to the virus. Should the parents be happy with such a child? Most likely, it's not worth it. Chances are great that, already being an adult, he will meet with the carrier of the virus and get sick. In this case, chickenpox in an adult is much more severe and threatens with dangerous complications.
Description of the disease
The disease is caused by a virus of chicken pox. In this case, the disease in adults is so severe that it is necessary to struggle not only with the pathogen itself, but also with all the symptoms. It is worth noting that the incubation period of chickenpox in adults is quite long, so you will not be able to stop an illness at an early stage. Most likely, you will understand that you are sick only when the symptoms become too obvious.
Chickenpox in adults is much less common than in children of the garden age, but it is more serious. If the virus affects a person older than 18 years, then the threat of complications increases several times. There are reasons for this, related to the factors that we will consider in the framework of today's article.
The virus that penetrates the blood and causes the disease is very small. This is what allows him to easily move through the air for a decent distance. If you work in a large office building, where only one person fell ill, then it is expected that soon the epidemic will cover all the units. The causative agent spreads along long corridors and may remain active for some time outside the carrier organism. I must say that the survival period of the pathogen is not too great, however, with a high density of congestion, this time is quite enough.
In the body the virus is activated and begins to multiply. Within a few days the infected patient becomes contagious, although outwardly this does not appear. The incubation period of chickenpox in adults is particularly dangerous for its duration. The person continues to visit public places, use common objects of use, and the virus goes further.
Chicken pox or shingles?
Another feature of this virus is that in the body it can behave differently. Some people have symptoms of chickenpox, which we all know by red rashes and high fever. In others, the ailment does not appear externally, but subsequently leads to the development of shingles. This disease can go into a chronic form, accompanied by weakness and headaches, fatigue. And in the affected nerve area there are eruptions, which after a couple of weeks gradually pass.
However, that's not all. The incubation period of chickenpox in adults can end, but the ailment will not go into an open form. The causative agent can stay with a person for life, while not externally manifesting himself. The main factor contributing to the reactivation of the pathogen is a decrease in immunity. This happens with a banal weakening of the body in the spring season, the presence of HIV infection, cancer, against the background of the use of immunosuppressants. That is why most often chickenpox is affected by children with not yet strengthened immunity.
Ways of infection for an adult
For toddlers, this is direct contact with peers in kindergarten. The probability of infection is almost 90%.However, the higher the defenses of the body, the less chance of getting sick. The main way is airborne. For infection, a fifteen-minute stay in one room with an infected person is sufficient.
A secondary path is contact with the rash. Especially if the liquid protrudes from the damaged vesicles. The incubation period of chickenpox in adults can last up to 3 weeks. At the same time, when a sick person can get infected from another, it starts 3-5 days before the first signs appear, and ends when all the bubbles are covered with a crust.
Stages of chickenpox in adults
It is important to know to understand when chickenpox stops being infectious. Let's consider the standard scheme, so to speak, the path of development that the virus passes in the body of each person. When ingested, the virus rapidly populates the cells of the RES.Then it penetrates into the blood and spreads throughout the body. And now we list the main stages:
- The incubation period of chickenpox in adults and children. This is the first stage, which takes up to three weeks. At the end of this period, communication with infected people becomes dangerous for those who have not previously had chickenpox.
- The first symptoms of chickenpox in adults begin to appear about 2.5 weeks after the virus enters the blood.
- Next we can observe the rapid spread of the rash. Spots actively increase and fill with fluid.
- Recovery. This is the period when chickenpox stops being contagious. At this time, the papules dry up and crusts form. Now the body has received a permanent immunity to the disease.
How to recognize chickenpox
No, not at all by red spots that appear much later. The first symptoms of chicken pox in adults are general weakness, as well as intoxication. A person can not fully perform his daily work, he increasingly wants to sleep. As the virus grasps all new organs and tissues, there is an ache in the body, which can be confused with the sign of influenza states. Discomfortable feelings extend to the muscles and joints, the patients at this stage note that the limb is twisting from unbearable pain. Doctors recommend at this time to take antipyretics, which have an anesthetic components. This makes it easier to survive the hardest period.
A vivid symptom is a headache. Nausea or vomiting is also not uncommon on the background of general intoxication of the body. Its intensity depends on the diet during treatment and features of the gastrointestinal tract.
Rash is the main symptom that allows you to accurately say that you have chickenpox. The treatment period lasts up to two weeks, after which the rashes gradually come to naught. In this case, the rash may be present not only on the skin, but also on the mucous membranes. In adults, itch is more pronounced than in children. To reduce it, use antihistamines.
Features of therapy
If the disease runs fairly easily, it is possible to treat and at home. It will only be necessary to follow all the doctor's recommendations, and relief will come soon enough. Treatment is appointed individually, in some cases only time and treatment of the blisters with anti-inflammatory solutions will be required. In other cases, the appointment of more serious drugs may be required. Chickenpox therapy involves the appointment of the following groups of medicines:
- Antiviral medicines. This is "Acyclovir" or "Famciclovir."
- Antihistamines that are needed to eliminate itching, such as Suprastin.
- Antipyretics( "Ibuprofen").
- Antibiotics that may be required to correct complications. Most often appoint "Cefazolin."
- Solution for intravenous infusion. This is a solution of glucose, which is not prescribed to everyone, but only in severe cases, when a decrease in the concentration of toxins in the blood is required.
Complications of chickenpox in adults
Most often they occur in people at risk. These include pregnant women, smoking patients, people with weak immunity. Complications can be quite a lot, so do not treat this disease lightly.
- From the skin, inflammation of the deep layers of the dermis can be observed. That is, the wound gets a secondary infection.
- Very often, chickenpox develops pneumonia. The probability of such a complication is about 15%.However, the inflammatory process most often can be detected only with the help of an X-ray.
- Inflammation of bones and joints is observed less often, especially since it is difficult to connect such a symptom with chickenpox.
- Brain lesions, such as encephalitis and meningitis. This is a rare, but very difficult condition.
There are more severe lesions of organs and systems, but they are, fortunately, not so common. We listed the most frequently reported complications of chickenpox in adults.
In fact, this concept is only theoretical. Due to the high infectiousness, there are no reliable measures to prevent this disease. However, the stronger the immunity, the greater the chance that the organism, if it does not escape the virus, will at least transfer it much more easily. Are there any preparations for the prevention of chickenpox in adults? No. All that is available is a right way of life, a healthy diet, optimal physical activity, intake of vitamins and minerals. In the spring, you can use echinacea to maintain immunity.