Chickenpox

Description

Chickenpox is a very infectious disease provoked by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It leads to itching, rash, fatigue, and fever. The rash takes place on the stomach, face, and back and can further spread over the whole body, leading to the development of roughly 500 itchy blisters. The disease can create serious problems. It is particularly dangerous to children and adults who have weakened immune systems. The most effective way to prevent the disease is to receive the chickenpox vaccine.

Causes and Symptoms

The chickenpox vaccine can lead to the emergence of the disease which lasts for about a week. The common symptoms of chickenpox include rash, which further develops into itchy blisters that can transform into scabs. The rash can appear on the chest, face, and spread all over the body, including eyelids, mouth, and genital area of the infected patient. Week is required for the blisters to turn into scabs. There are other classical symptoms, which can arise before the rash, such as tiredness, fever, headache, and loss of appetite. Children should skip school for 5-6 days if they get vaccinated or fell ill with chickenpox.

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Mode of Transmission

As it has been mentioned previously, chickenpox is regarded as a contagious disease provoked by ZVZ. The virus spreads quickly from people infected with the disease to others who have never had the disorder or been vaccinated. The virus also spreads all over the breaching paths by means of particulars that derive from the chickenpox blisters, as well as through the droplets from infected patients who have spread bacteria by means of breathing or talking. The VZV can also lead to shingles. Chickenpox can be transmitted to people through shingles. Those who have not suffered from the disease are particularly susceptible. Such a situation can happen when a person breathes in or touches virus from blisters. Under these circumstances, a person is infected with chickenpox but not with shingles. When a person is infected, the chickenpox could develop within 1-2 days before they have a rash. It takes about 14 days or from 10 to 21 days since the contagion starts. If person is vaccinated, the disease can also spread to others. The majority of people who have been infected will never get chickenpox. However, there are still cases when some people can get the disease because of other factors.

Complications

There is a list of complications that can occur, but they are not always present in healthy people who have got the infection. However, people can get a high level of complications. Among those at risk are adolescents, infants, adults, pregnant women, and people who have a weakened immune system. People suffering from HIV/AIDS or tumors, people who have transplants, or people who have undergone chemotherapy and who have taken steroids for a long time can have complications. The complications can include pneumonia, related bacterial infections, brain inflammations, blood stream infections, dehydration, and bleeding. Some people with severe complications must be hospitalized, because they may be in danger of death. Additionally, some can focus on unvaccinated adults and children. Adults can die from chickenpox.

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Treatment

The most effective way of preventing the disease is vaccinating children and adults who should get the double dose of the vaccine. Chickenpox vaccine is not dangerous and is aimed at effectively preventing the disorder. The majority of people can get the vaccine and the disease will not develop. In case a vaccinated person is infected, it is usually represented by a mild form. People who have been infected with chickenpox can request help from a healthcare provider in case they have never been ill with it and have not been vaccinated. If the patient is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, they can also contact the healthcare establishment. The latter also applies to people with cancer and HIV/AIDS. As for medication, the attention should be given to non-aspirin medications, including acetaminophen, which reduces fever. It should be stressed that the use of aspirin could be dangerous because it can have a detrimental effect on brain and liver, which can lead to lethal outcomes.

Demographic of Interest

Mortality

Timely precaution measures and awareness of all information about the disease makes chickenpox almost safe for the patients. Nonetheless, there are still cases when the disease can threaten life. VZV, which causes chickenpox, can have a negative influence on the state of health. One-dose vaccinations can reduce lethal outcomes and deaths by 66 %. A decrease by 74 % can be observed among healthy people who are under 50 years old. There is also evidence regarding the fact that cases ending in recovery are currently at 88 % among people older than 50 and at 96 % among those who are younger than 50. The report relies on the statistics received by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics for the period from 2002 to 2007.

Incidence and Prevalence

It has been reported that there are over 3.5 million cases of the infection annually with 100 deaths and 9.000 hospitalizations. Incidents of chickenpox were recorded in 26 states with consistent reporting from the surveillance system reduced by 45% for the period from 2000 to 2005 and by 77 % for the period of 2006 to 2010 after the second wave of vaccination. Therefore, the current predictions seem to be justified and favorable.

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Determinants of Health and Factors Contributing to the Disease Development

Chickenpox is mostly developed among people with weakened immune systems or in places with the foci of varicella virus, the precursor of the infection. People suffering from HIV/AIDS are also among the victims of the infection as their immune system cannot be fight against the threat of the virus.

Epidemiological Triangle

Host and Agent Factors and Environment

The agent is an internal or external aspect which can cause disorders and diseases. In this respect, varicella-zoster is presented as the precursor of the infection. It can also lead to rash and blisters.

The environmental factors play an important role as well because they introduce specific conditions under which the virus is developing. Thus, varicella can occur among children with weakened immune systems or if there are other patients suffering from chickenpox. Meal and food can also affect the overall condition of the people in a specific community. Therefore, both internal and external dimensions have a significant influence.

Epidemiological Triangle

With regard to the above the triangle is composed of agent, host, and environment. In case of chickenpox, the agent is varicella zoster, the virus. The host includes the disease, the chickenpox. The environment analyzes the way the disease is transmitted. As it has been mentioned, the disease is transmitted from the infected person by sneezes and coughs or by contact with the liquid from infected blisters. In the majority of cases, the transmission occurs in winter and spring, when the temperature is low.

It should be noted that varicella can occur all over the world, irrespective of climates and it is always presented as a childhood disease with fewer incidents among adolescents and adults. Nonetheless, the highest incidence is detected in the driest climates. With the application of vaccination programs in the United States, significant reductions have occurred in terms of incidents. The risk of exposure is much highest in other regions of the world. Due to the fact that varicella is spread worldwide, all travelers are at risk of infection. In addition, exposure to infection can create risks for chickenpox development.

The Role of the Community Health Nurse: Reporting, Data Collection and Analysis

Organization Addressing the Disease and Measures Taken for Resolving the Issue

There are a number of measures proposed for preventing the disease, by communities, the government, non-governmental establishments, and healthcare professionals. To begin with, the media should increase awareness about the problem of contagious disease through educational information. Spreading leaflets and creating online sites can allow individuals to learn more about potential risks and problems. Second, vaccination is the second step which should be available to all members of the population. The community nurses should provide information to individuals about symptoms, signs, and causes of the disease to make their children safe and prevent the spread of the infection. They should also conduct research studies focused on the problems of vaccination and mortality rates. The statistics shows that the measures taken are effective and can provide a safe environment for children.

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Finally, the infected individuals should also have access to counselors, nurses, and healthcare professionals who are able to provide high quality assistance and the necessary medical interventions if appropriate. Medications should also be provided. All these approaches could predetermine the development of specific tools and instruments for further involvement. As soon as these elements are tackled, it will be possible to minimize the cases of pandemic and infectious spread. Complications can be eliminated as well. In response, a well-educated community can contact the nurses in a timely manner to minimize the cases with complications.

In conclusion, chickenpox is not considered to be a dangerous disease, but its contagious nature still requires further investigations. The disease is caused by a virus varicella, which leads to rashes and blisters. There are many symptoms and preliminary factors defining the signs of the disease, such as rash, fatigue, and headaches. The symptoms could also be complicated by fever and are often typical for children with weakened immune systems or patients with HIV/AIDS and cancer. These groups should be under greater care of the government, so as to provide them with timely assistance and supervision. Healthcare establishments should regularly monitor the statistics to prevent the infection from spreading in the future.

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