varicella-zoster%20virus%20infection%20(pediatric)
VARICELLA-ZOSTER VIRUS INFECTION (PEDIATRIC)
Varicella, also known as chickenpox, is a self-limited, benign disease caused by primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection characterized by fever, malaise, and generalized pruritic vesicular rash.
The average incubation period is 14-16 days. It is transmitted via direct contact with vesicular fluid or inhalation of aerosolized respiratory secretions or via droplet route during face to face contact.
Hallmark sign is pruritic rash that begins in the scalp and face which eventually spreads to the trunks and extremities.

Patient Education

  • Educate patient on the infectious nature of disease & its mode of transmission
  • Advise patient on the importance of monitoring for signs & symptoms of possible complications
  • Avoid self-medicating w/ Aspirin which has been associated w/ Reye’s syndrome
  • Assure patients about the course of the disease & provide counseling when needed

Skin/Wound Care

  • Keep skin lesions dry & clean to prevent bacterial superinfection
    • Shower at least twice/day w/ soap & water
  • Nails should always be trimmed short & kept clean
  • Avoid peeling lesion crust & let it slough off naturally
  • Soft or liquid diet may be preferred for patients w/ lesions near the mouth
  • Sterile wet dressings may decrease discomfort from lesions
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