VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 12 POSTED ON: 6/28/2011
Varicella Zoster Pages 224-225 Chickenpox • A very common disease caused by a virus • Spreads easily through families and villages Signs and Symptoms • Slight fever, headache, and itching round spots of different size. • Spots may have clear liquid inside. Some may be crusty. They will cover the whole body, but may be more on the trunk than arms and legs. Treatment • Clean with water and soap. • Cut fingernails to reduce damage from scratching (try not to scratch at all!) • Apply Gentian Violet to infected spots ONLY. Give paracetamol for fever. • Use Chlorpheniramine ONLY if patient has severe iching. Use Terramycine eye ointment if there are sores in eyes. Herpes Zoster • Caused by the same virus as chickenpox • Is a reactivation of the virus and occurs many years after the initial chickenpox infection • Causes a rash of vesicles (water spots) on one area of the skin • Can occur at any age, but mostly seen in older patients or those with low immunity Signs and Symptoms • Fever and chills a few days before rash appears • Moderate to severe pain at site where rash develops • Vesicles appear 4-5 days later • Vesicles become pustules, then crusts • Rash is very often on the chest but can be anywhere on the skin or mucosa • Is usually only on one side of the body Treatment • Treat lesions as in Herpes Simplex treatment guidelines • Apply cold compresses • Give pain medications by protocol. If necessary give Amitryptiline. • If infection is severe or includes eye refer to doctor. Acyclovir can help if given within the first 48 hours after eruption of lesions. They are infectious to people who have not had chickenpox!
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