Chicken Pox is current in our school community with a suspected case in one of the younger primary classes.
Chicken Pox is infectious from 2-3 days before the spots appear until all the spots are dried up. Usually Chicken Pox is a mild disease with few complications except in those who are immunocompromised. In rare cases in can cause complications if contracted in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy or is present at birth via the mother.
It can be spread by either having direct contact with the person who has chickenpox, from coughed or sneezed fluids or by touching the liquid from the blisters.
Chicken Pox presents as a spotty rash over the trunk, face & scalp, spreading perhaps to the entire body. The rash usually appears from 10 to 21 days after first being exposed to someone who has chickenpox.
There may have been a mild fever, sore watery eyes, malaise and respiratory symptoms for a few days before the spots appear. The spots turn into blisters that become black & crusty. These can be very itchy – “Pinetarsol” lotion, oatmeal or Lavender Oil baths can relieve this – scratching can result in scarring.
The NSW Dept of Health states that children with Chicken Pox need to be excluded from school for at least 5 days following the development of symptoms or until all the spots have scabbed over.