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What Causes Chickenpox?

The varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox. Most cases occur

through contact with an infected person. The virus may be
contagious several days before blisters appear, and it remains
contagious until all blisters have crusted over. It is spread through
saliva, coughing, sneezing, and contact with blisters.

When to See the Doctor

Clusters of red, fluid-filled blisters appearing all over the body are a
sign the illness is chickenpox, rather than another type of virus. Any
of the following symptoms may appear before, or during, the
outbreak of blisters:

sore throat
Seek medical care any time you develop an unexplained rash,
especially if it is accompanied by cold symptoms or fever. You could
be affected by one of several viruses or infections. Tell your doctor
right away if you are exposed to chickenpox while pregnant.
Many cases of chickenpox are diagnosed based on physical exam of
blisters on your (or your childs) body. If a diagnosis cant be made,
lab tests will confirm the cause of the blisters.

The chickenpox vaccine prevents chickenpox in 90 percent of
children who receive it. The shot should be given when your child is
between 12 and 15 months of age. A booster is given between 4
and 6 years of age. Older children and adults who have not been
vaccinated or exposed may receive catch-up doses of the vaccine.
As chickenpox tends to be more severe in older patients, parents
who did not previously vaccinate may opt to have the shots given
Unvaccinated individuals can try to avoid the virus by limiting
contact with infected people. This can be difficult, as chickenpox
cant be identified by blisters until it has been contagious for days

Prevention pertussis
The mainstay of prevention lies in the immunization program. In the United States,inoculations begin at
two months of age. The pertussis vaccine, most often given as one immunization together
with diphtheria and tetanus (called DTP), has greatly reduced the incidence of whooping cough. With
one shot backed with a 70% immunization rate, two shots increase it to 7580%, and three to only 85%, it
is not a guarantee.
A new formulation of the pertussis vaccine is available. Unlike DTP, which is composed of dead bacterial
cells, the newer acellular pertussis vaccine is made up of two to five chemical components of the B.
pertussis bacteria. The acellular pertussis vaccine (called DTaP; when combined with diphtheria and
tetanus vaccines) greatly reduces the risk of unpleasant reactions, including high fever and discomfort
at the injection site.
Because adults are the primary source of infection for children, there has been some talk in the medical
community about vaccinating or giving booster vaccinations to adults. A recent increase of pertussis
cases among adults in France has led several French medical schools to recommend booster doses of
vaccine for adults

What Are the Symptoms of Measles?

Symptoms of measles generally appear within 14 days of exposure

to the virus. Symptoms include:
red eyes
light sensitivity
muscle aches
runny nose
sore throat
white spots inside the mouth
A widespread skin rash is a classic sign of measles. This rash can
last up to seven days and generally appears within the first three to
five days of exposure to the virus. A measles rash commonly
develops at the head and slowly spreads to other parts of the body.
Signs of a measles rash include red, itchy bumps.

How to Prevent Measles

Immunizations can help prevent a measles outbreak. The MMR
vaccine is a three-in-onevaccination that can protect you and your
children from the measles, mumps, and rubella. Children can receive
their first MMR vaccination at 12 months (or sooner if traveling
internationally), and their second dose between the ages of 4 and 6.
Adults who have never received an immunization can request the
vaccine from their doctor.
If you or a family member contracts the measles virus, limit
interaction with others. This includes staying home from school or
work and avoiding social activities.

Mumps is caused by a virus that is passed from one person to another

through saliva, nasal secretions, and close personal contact.
The condition primarily affects the parotid glands. Parotid glands
also called salivary glandsare the organs responsible for producing

saliva. There are three sets of salivary glands on each side of your
face, located behind and below your ears. The hallmark symptom of
mumps is swelling of the salivary glands.
Read more

Symptoms of Mumps
Symptoms of mumps usually appear within two weeks of exposure
to the virus. Flu-like symptoms may be the first to appear, including:
body aches
loss of appetite
low-grade fever
A high fever (up to 103 F) and swelling of the salivary glands follow
over the next few days. The glands may not all swell at once. More
commonly, they swell and become painful periodically. You are most
contagious from the time you are exposed to the mumps virus until
your parotid glands swell.
Most people who contract mumps show symptoms of the virus.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), only 30 to 40 percent of mumps patients have
swollen glands. Up to 20 percent of patients are completely
asymptomatic (CDC).

Preventing Mumps
Mumps can be prevented through vaccination. Most infants and
children receive a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
at the same time. The first MMR shot is generally given between the
ages of 12 and 15 months at a routine well-child visit. A second
vaccination is required for school-aged children between 4 and 6
years old.
Adults who were born before 1957 and have not yet contracted
mumps may wish to be vaccinated. Those who work in a high-risk

environment, such as a hospital or school, should always be

vaccinated against mumps.
However, patients who have a compromised immune system, who
are allergic to gelatin or neomycin, or who are pregnant, should not
receive the MMR vaccine.
Consult your family doctor about an immunization schedule for you
and your children.