Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The House of Chickenpox

After two rounds of common cold / influenza virus at our house, and the scare of H1N1 influenza virus, we were graced by the arrival of the varicella-zoster virus.

Daniel was four, and his symptoms were relatively mild.  He had about fifty blisters over his body, mild fever for a day or two, and tired easily.  We did our best to seperate him from his younger sister once his rashes developed.

On the one hand, relatives kept telling us that it would be better if Audrey got chickenpox as well, so as to get it over with.  They reasoned that it would be a mild case for young kids.  I was not so sure.  Afterall, Audrey was barely fifteen months old, and her immune system was not as developed as Daniel.

I was just about to breathe a sigh of relieve after two weeks of taking care of Daniel, when Audrey started to develop a rash.  Sure enough, blisters started breaking out all over her body over the next two to three days.  There were over a hundred blisters covering her scalp, face, ears, neck, torso, underarms, back, limps, and worst of all, her genital area.  She had a very high fever for one to two days, and her head was so itchy that she couldn't sleep at night.  I was giving her oatmeal baths twice a day and constantly covering her blisters in calamine lotion.

Just as fast and furious as the rashes arrived, they were also drying up quite fast.  Except for the rashes in her genital area, most rashes were drying up after five or six days.

The other issue that came up was the contagious nature of chickenpox and going out in public.  Before I realized either of my kids had chickenpox, they have been out in public in the company of their friends.  That happened to be a contagious stage for the virus.  So without knowing it, we may have been spreading the chickenpox virus around in the general public.  I am sure that's how Daniel got the virus to begin with.  So the cycle goes.