Diagnosis of Chickenpox
Typically chickenpox does not require any medical tests in order to diagnose. The symptoms of chickenpox are usually distinctive enough and can be distinguished from other conditions and rashes.(New Health advisor, 2015)
“You can be pretty sure that it is chickenpox if there are the key symptoms of a mild fever followed by an itchy rash, with blisters and scabs” (NHS Choices. 2015).
If you are uncertain about whether or not your child has chickenpox you should visit your local GP who will be able to diagnose the child accordingly. They may carry out a simple blood test to identify the virus if they too are uncertain about the spots on the skin.
Complications are rare but in some cases chicken pox and cause extra complications. Most commonly blisters may become infected with bacteria. Blisters may become red and cause the child pain. In this instance health professionals such a local GP’s, nurses and Doctors can be contacted to prescribe a course of antibiotics.
Very rarely chickenpox can develop into more serious complications such as nervous system problems such as; encephalitis, meningitis, cerebellitis. Signs of these problems are;
• Low levels of energy
• Seizures (fits)
• Severe headaches
• Behavioural changes
• Problems with walking, balance or speech (NHS Choices. 2015).
If these symptoms occur seek medical advice. Taking the child to services such as A&E and out of hours clinics dependent of level of emergency will enable care professionals such as Paediatric Doctors and Nurses to provide appropriate medical care.
A child is most likely to contract chickenpox at nursery/school, it is the practitioners in the school who may first notice these symptoms, especially if others in the class have been infected by the virus. They will then work with the parents informing them on the symptoms the child has displayed through spots on the face or the body.
If a parent notices that their child has sore throat, tummy ache and begins scratching, these are indicators that a child has been infected by the virus. In these cases the child should be taken to the doctor, who will then diagnose the child with chicken pox and prescribe some antibiotics. This will encourage the spots to heal and will take care of the sore throat and tummy ache. The child should try to not scratch the spots as this can increase the chances of the spots scarring.