Chickenpox in the World

Chickenpoxin the World

Chickenpoxin the World


Chickenpox is a disease that can be transmitted from one person to another.As such, it falls under the category of communicable diseases. Thecause of the illness is an agent known as Varicella Zoster Virus(VZB) which is highly contagious.


Thisviral infection is present in almost all parts of the world. By theyear 2013, there were over 140 million chicken pox cases[CITATION Cen161 l 1033 ].In the same year, this illness claimed the lives of 7000 individualsglobally. Most of the time, chicken pox affects children probably dueto school contact. The highest prevalence wasreported as 4-10 year old in age. Its high communicability means thatthe incidence rate approaches 90%. While chicken pox eventuallyresolves, the complications that arise may require the generalutilization of inpatient facilities. The complications are also quitefatal leading to death and sometimes disability [ CITATION Atk11 l 1033 ].


Theprimary symptoms associated with chickenpox infection is thedevelopment of small, itchy rash which later on scab over. Theincubation period lies between 7 and 21 days post-exposure.Afterward, the symptom is likely to begin showing. It is important tonote that during the incubation period, the infected person cantransmit the disease to other people. As the illness sets in, theinitial signs and symptoms that arise include high fever, appetiteloss, fatigue, malaise, and headache and sometimes sores in andaround the mouth. Approximately 1 to 2 days later, the characteristicitchy rash appears and spreads from the trunk to the face and theextremities. These blisters may persist for around 7 to 10 days.

Asmentioned before, the sores develop in the oral cavity, the scalp,eyes and around the genitalia. The outcomes in adults differ fromthose of children. As such, in adolescents and grownups, the earlysigns are appetite loss, muscle ache, and headache. In children, theprodromal period is not usually exemplified. On the contrary, rashesbegin to form on the face, torso, arms and legs which later developinto painful blisters. During the blistering, itching is common.Additionally, the vesicles may be formed on the palms and soles.Typically, adults are more likely to develop complications thanchildren. Another prominent symptom is the presence of watery nasaldischarge. As the illness nears its end, the lesions turn into dryscabs and are eventually shed [ CITATION Mar151 l 1033 ].

Modeof Transmission:

Themanner of communication for chicken pox is through direct contactwith the blister formed during illness. Likewise, coughing andsneezing is another means in which the virus can be transferred toanother person. Furthermore, contact with infected items such asclothes, beddings, towels and contaminated utensils has beenidentified as a possible transmission route. For successfultransmission and disease development to take place, several riskfactors must exist. These include young age, lack of the previousinfection by the virus, absence of vaccination, pregnancy, weakimmunity, organ transplants and the consumption of medications thatsuppress the immune function [ CITATION Mar151 l 1033 ].


Progressionof this severe infection leads to various problems. These issuesinclude lethargy, dehydration, bleeding disorders, encephalitis,ataxia, meningitis, predisposition to bacterial infections andsepsis. As the disease advances, bone and joint infection may takeplace, Reye’s syndrome, toxic shock, pneumonia, myocarditis andultimately death. More often than not, the illness produces moresevere effects in adults than in young children. Although its effectsare rarely lethal, non-immune individuals and those with a lowimmunity are highly vulnerable to complications. Apparently, Arterialischemic stroke is one of the biggest problems related to thisinfection. Shingles can also occur after the first infection[CITATION Cen161 l 1033 ].


Chickenpox treatment is not based on medication alone. The followingstrategies can be implemented. Rest, and tepid baths composed ofsodium bicarbonate or pinetarsol can be applied to reduce itching.Several antiviral drugs can be of assistance. For example, acyclovir,famciclovir, and valacyclovir. Painkillers such as paracetamol andacetaminophen can be administered to relieve pain. The itching,swelling and other reactions can be dealt with using antihistaminediphenhydramine. Treatment of bacterial infection requires the use oftopical lotion. Hydrocortisone is an example of cream applied tominimize itching. As seen above, the primary objective of treatmentis to ease and manage the symptoms and the adverse effects. Reportshave shown evidence that sorivudine is an effective nucleoside analogin the treatment of primary varicella. However, clinical trials onhuge populations need to be performed to establish this hypothesis [ CITATION Mar151 l 1033 ].

Treatmentdifference in Children and adults

Forthis age group, acyclovir is started immediately the rashes arise. Itis important to note that individuals under 12 years old should notbe given antiviral drugs unless when the conditions dictate so.Adults experience a more severe infection. Antivirals especiallyacyclovir and valacyclovir are recommended. This medication should beaccompanied by the intake of adequate water to prevent dehydration.


Itis important for chicken pox patients to remain in their homes toreduce the rate of spread to other individuals. Good hygiene, shortnails, and daily cleaning are some of the good practices of avoidingspread. In some situations, isolation care might have to be used,health standards and vaccination. Immunization is an important toolthat has facilitated a significant reduction in the cases andcomplications. Since the virus is susceptible to disinfectants, itcan be destroyed by desiccation, heat, and detergents. The poxvaccine is advocated for primarily a second dose following the firstone [CITATION Cen161 l 1033 ].

TheChicken Pox Triangle

Thetypical epidemiological triangle for a communicable disease is basedon the interaction between the host, the causative agent, and theenvironment. As such, the host, in this case, is the susceptibleindividual who is likely to get infected possibly due to age, immunestatus and sex among others. The agent is the varicella zoster viruswhich infects and causes the disease. The environment is concernedwith the mode of transmission for example through contact, coughing,sneezing and sharing of personal items. The exposure to a surroundingwith the necessary factors for transmission increases the risk ofbeing infected to substantial levels.

Roleof Community Health Nurses in Chicken Pox

Healthpractitioners play a vital role in the detection of cases, treatment,and prevention of all diseases. Apparently, chicken pox requireshigh-level attention due to its contagious nature. Therefore,community health nurses have a critical role to play to keep thesociety in order. First and foremost, the nurses need to evaluate thetrends, patterns, and risks that predispose people to the infectionhence making the necessary interventions available. They also need towork in close collaboration with community members so as to developrelevant policies and specific disease prevention approaches.Assessment and evaluation of essential health services followed bythe response to any demand regarding public health concerns.

Healtheducation is also a vital part of the role of community healthnurses. Care management to affected and infected individuals andtheir families is a responsibility that has to be observed. Thefunction of community nurses is to link epidemiological data to aclinical understanding. Comprehension of these aspects stimulates theidentification of emerging patterns for better planning, coordinationand implementation. Additionally, they also take part in otherhealth-related yet crucial activities including the causes ofdiseases, immunization, the related mortality rates, and theincidence and prevalence [ CITATION Atk11 l 1033 ].

TheRole of CDC in Addressing Chicken Pox

TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention is an organization thatfocuses on the need to establish a platform in which illnesses can bediagnosed, treated and prevented. By conducting data collection,analysis, education, training and research, a lot has been learnedand published. This body has put a lot of effort towards theminimization of the disease. In the United States of America, CDC hasoverseen a considerable reduction in the number of deaths due tovaricella, reduced morbidities and reduced rates of transmission. Assuch, there has been a 90% decline in varicella-related deaths,inpatient cases have been diminished by 84%, and the incidence ratehas been projected at 92% lower since the incorporation of programs.This particular organization does not only provide vaccine alone, butthey also conduct research studies to determine the variousprevention, treatment and management interventions that work best [CITATION Cen161 l 1033 ].Education, training, and provision of the actual services have helpedpeople to select a lifestyle that reduces the risk if acquiringchicken pox.


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Centers for Disese Control. (2016, July 1). Conducting Varicella Surveillance. Retrieved from CDC:

Mona, M. (2015, July 10). Chicken Pox Disease with Sign, Treatment and Nursing Intervention. Retrieved from Nursing Boost: