6 Things You Probably Don't Know About Chickenpox
At some point in their life-span, most homes in Ireland will experience chickenpox. It is an extremely common and contagious viral infection that tends to affect children.
When your child has had chickenpox it is very unlikely that they will get it again and, in general, it leaves no lasting damage. If one child in the house has chickenpox then it is very likely that it will spread to the other children.
Here are some lesser known facts about chickenpox that you may not know already.
1. It is possible to get chickenpox twice. It is extremely rare though. Most people who contract chicken pox will never get it again as they become immune to the virus after they have been infected.
2. Shingles are caused by the same virus as chickenpox. A person with shingles can, therefore, spread the virus to another person in the form of chickenpox even if what they have is shingles. Shingles tends to affect people with a weakened immune system.
3. Many children will require 1-2 weeks off school when they have the virus. This can put a lot of pressure on a family as parents will need to take that amount of time off work and chances are it will come from their annual leave. This is why many choose to vaccinate their kids.
4. Although uncomfortable for the person infected, scratching is actually a good sign. It shows that the body is responding to the virus and is, therefore, attempting to rid the body of it. It is a good idea to limit scratching as it can cause the virus to spread quicker via fingernails. It can also leave permanent scarring.
5. Pregnant women who have never had chickenpox before are extremely vulnerable to this virus. This is because chickenpox can spread to the unborn baby or to a newborn which can be very serious.
6. Chickenpox parties are actually a thing. That’s right – for a number of logistic and practical reasons parents will throw a play-date together which involves deliberately exposing their children to a child who has the virus. The idea is to “get it over and done with” at a time that is somewhat in their control.
Tracey is mammy to four-year-old Billy and newborn Willow. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can follow her on Instagram.