Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by one of the viruses of the herpes family. Despite the fact that chickenpox occurs mainly in preschoolers and primary schoolchildren, infants are not immune from it. The course of the disease has its own characteristics.
How is chickenpox in infants
The first signs of chickenpox in infants, as in older children, are skin rashes. At first, they resemble mosquito bites and concentrate on the face and abdomen, and later turn into itchy bubbles filled with fluid and spread throughout the body. The baby may have a fever, weakness, and loss of appetite. Often, all this is accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes.
Babies, unlike older children, cannot patiently endure severe itching and high fever, which is why they most often react to discomfort with unrestrained crying. In the presence of rashes in the mouth, the baby may refuse to eat and lose weight greatly during the illness. In addition, sleep problems are possible, which often leads to depletion of the baby's nervous system and, as a result, various neurological disorders (hyper- or hypotonia, increased intracranial pressure, etc.).
Breastfed babies are not as susceptible to chickenpox as their artificial peers and children over the age of one year. The fact is that they are protected by antibodies contained in breast milk. True, they can only be relied on if the mother has ever had chickenpox and breastfeeds the baby on demand, and not by the hour.
Even if a breastfed baby catches chickenpox, the chances are high that it will be asymptomatic or with few rashes.
Since the baby's immunity is not yet strong enough, there is a possibility of developing serious complications from chickenpox. That is why it is important that the child is regularly examined by a doctor. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required.
Chickenpox in a newborn baby
Chickenpox is especially dangerous for newborns. It can occur in a baby if the expectant mother gets sick with chickenpox a few days before giving birth or within a week after them. In this case, the crumbs, in addition to the rash, may experience the following symptoms of the disease:
- difficulty breathing;
- violation of the heart rhythm.
It is possible to plan a pregnancy after vaccination against chickenpox no earlier than 3-4 months later.
Congenital chickenpox does not always go away without consequences. In some cases, the child cannot be saved. That is why a woman who has not had chickenpox is recommended to be vaccinated at the planning stage of pregnancy.