The Ministry of Health wishes to inform the public that there is an increase of chicken pox infecting the island. The general public should take precautionary measures to stop the spread as it is a highly contagious infection.

Chicken pox is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread by direct contact or breathing in germs from someone’s cough or sneeze. Two weeks after exposure, chicken pox spots appear on the body.

Signs and Symptoms

The following symptoms will occur 10-21 days after exposure to chicken pox:
1.    Low grade fever.
2.    Runny nose, slight cough.
3.    Poor appetite.
4.    Headache.
5.    Tired, rundown feeling.

These symptoms usually occur 1-2 days before the spots appear on the body.
When the spots first appear they will start on the chest, back, or face, and eventually are seen over the entire body, itching may be severe. The spots may occur in the mouth as white sores, and as sores in the ears.

Treatment

First seek medical help, but it may be treated by using

1.    Baking soda bath.
2.    Calamine lotion as needed to skin.
3.    Paracetamol or Tylenol for fever above 102 degrees  Do not use Aspirin
4.    For sores in mouth, rinse with warm water or hydrogen peroxide mouth rinses.

Keep the sores clean by bathing daily. If the sores look infected, wash them well and apply Neosporin or Bacitracin ointment 4 times a day.

What else do I need to know about Chicken Pox?
1.    Chicken pox is spread by direct contact or breathing in from nose and throat secretions.
2.    Crusts do not contain the virus.
3.    Crusting occurs in 5 to 10 days after breakout.
4.    Children are not to go to school for at least 7 days – until all sores are crusted.
5.    Trim nails and do not scratch.
6.    Bathe daily.
7.    Let scabs fall off by themselves.
8.    Contact your district nurse or private doctor if symptoms are persistent.

The Ministry of Health encourages the general public to take the necessary steps to protect yourselves and family from contacting chicken pox.