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How Can I Protect Myself and Loved Ones Against Varicella or Chickenpox?

The symptoms of varicella or chickenpox include fever, body malaise, appetite loss, and red or pink skin rashes characterized by fluid-filled red bumps, so if you notice these symptoms, then get a Varicella Titer Test as soon as possible. If it tested positive, you need to get immediate medical treatment to prevent serious, long-term complications.

 However, a negative Varicella Titer Test doesn’t mean that you are safe though. This disease is highly contagious, so if you were exposed to someone who has the infection, you can still easily acquire it through direct contact. Touching an infected person’s rash or coming into contact with their droplets (either sneezing or coughing) highly increases your risk for chickenpox.

 It is for these reasons why you need to protect yourself and loved ones against this contagious disease. 

Varicella Vaccine

The best way to prevent varicella or chickenpox is to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, immunization against the varicella virus gives you complete protection against this highly contagious disease, especially if you received the recommended doses.

In children, the varicella vaccine is typically given in two doses. The first dose is given when they are between 12 and 15 months old, and the second dose is given when they are between 4 and 6 years of age. However, if your child missed these doses, know that he can still have them. The catch-up two varicella vaccine doses are typically given to unvaccinated older children at least 3 months apart when they are between 7 and 12 years old and at least 4 weeks apart when they are older than 13 years old.

Of note, adults who have never been vaccinated against this virus can still receive the catch-up vaccines, and these doses are typically set at least 4 to 8 weeks apart. If you aren’t sure if you have had the vaccine though, then simply get a blood test. This test will check for antibodies and can help tell whether or not you have immunity against the disease. If you’re wondering Where can I get Varicella Titer Test? to know for sure, don’t worry. You can simply order one online and in the comfort and privacy of your home. You only need to present the receipt when you visit the laboratory clinic to get the test, and they will send the result via phone or email.

However, if you are over the age of 60 years old and can’t recall whether or not you have had chickenpox, you might benefit from a shingles vaccine. This vaccine can help prevent the development as well as reoccurrence of shingles.

Caring for an Infected Person

If you’re the caretaker of someone who currently has chickenpox, then you need to protect yourself as well against a possible infection even though you have had the vaccine or have had chickenpox in the past. While these provide you protection, there’s still the risk of getting infected, although the severity will be reduced. 

  • Use a facemask, gloves, as well as goggles when taking care of the infected. These will protect your mouth, nose, skin, and eyes from infected droplets. 
  • Always wash your hands with soap and running water before and after caring for the patient. 
  • It would be best if the patient is confined in one room to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus, and it is advisable that the patient use his own eating utensils. Once the patient is well, give the room a very thorough cleaning. This includes bed linens, clothes, towels, and anything that came into contact with the patient.

Chickenpox can be serious, especially to those with weak immune systems, so make sure that you protect yourself and loved ones against this disease.