Check if it’s chickenpox
The Ministry of Health would like to advise the general public that chickenpox virus is circulating within the community.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious, common childhood disease that causes an itchy rash of blisters and a fever. The rash occurs about 10 to 12 days after coming into contact with someone who had the disease. It usually starts with one spot, but more spots quickly appear, with fever, headache, runny nose, a cough and feeling tired.
Chickenpox is most common in children between the ages of 2years and 10 years. If one child in your household gets it, it is almost certain that any others who have never had chickenpox will get it next. The virus spreads mainly by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters, and possibly through tiny droplets from infected people that get into the air after they breathe or talk.
People with chickenpox should avoid others, not attend childcare, school or public places, and should not swim in public swimming areas, including swimming pools. Children with chickenpox should be kept at home for 7 days or until all the blisters are dried and covered by scabs.
They should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of soiled tissues, wash their hands well and not share utensils, food or drinking cups.
Bacterial infection of the spots can be caused by the child’s scratching, which can lead to scars. To prevent scarring from the spots, dress your child in lightweight clothing; clip your child’s fingernails; try putting mittens on the hands of very young children.
Most children do not need any specific treatment for chickenpox. For fever or pain, give your child paracetamol. Never give your child aspirin. Calamine lotion can be used to calm itching and can be purchased at private pharmacies.
Seek medical attention if the child has a very high fever or is very ill, particularly if they become very drowsy, or are breathing fast or vomiting a lot.