(see Enveloped Virus)
Winter time isn't the only time virus are around, but they seem quite more active then.
The Varicella Zoster or Herpes Zoster virus is no different. You may not recognize the virus name Varicella Zoster but you probably have had it at one time or another; most people have. This virus causes 2 conditions; one is chicken pox and the other is shingles.
If your child has been exposed to chicken pox last week and hasn't broke out yet don't quit holding your breath. The incubation period is 14-21 days and the person is contagious 1 day before the rash to 5 days after the rash appears.
The onset of the spots usually are preceded by slight to moderate fever, and an upset stomach to vomiting.
A rash that looks like little water blisters usually appears. They are more prominent where it is warmer like under the shirt on chest, back, abdomen and underarms. After a few days the water blisters change into a scabby crust.
The medical book says that the old wives' tale that "keeping a child warm is important when having chicken pox" has no medical basis. Well those old wives would sometimes have several children who got the disease and learned by experience.
Many natural health professionals validate the ideas of keeping the child warm to help keep the pox from going inward and helping the pox all come out.
The medical book also says that even if the child scratches the pox that permanent scars do not develop from the pox. Well a 30 year old scar on my right cheek seems to trash that medical fact.
There are many remedies to help the intense itching that accompanies the scabs: Some people tie old fashioned oatmeal in a sock and add to the bath water.
The HOW TO HERB BOOK suggests using 3 tablespoons of ginger to a tub of water or 2 cups apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of salt.
I used coloring books, games and constant amount of nagging to keep my kids scar free.
As with all viral infections, a good diet and limit amount of sugars is important in helping the body's immune system deal with the virus.
Although you build up permanent immunity after having a good bout of chicken pox so that you won't get chicken pox 2 times, the virus can lay dormant in your body's spinal cord or nerve ganglia for years or can be contracted as shingles.
For this reason it is wise to avoid exposure of chicken pox to the elderly or immune weak.
Varicella Zoster virus which causes chicken pox also causes shingles. Shingles is a very painful viral infection of the nerve endings. It usually starts out as shooting pain and after several days a rash appears along the line of the nerve. It can last anywhere from several weeks, to months, to years.
Most people get shingles in the torso. It is suggested that if shingles appear on the face to see an Ophthalmologist to prevent spreading to the eyes which can cause blindness.
L-Lysine, an amino acid (at least 500 mg 2x times a day), Vitamin C (2000 mg 2x a day), vitamin B complex (at liberal dosages) and VS-C (about 20 or more a day) have shown remarkable results. In one case the shingles disappeared in a few days.
Although the Varicella Zoster virus is around all year, it seems to thrive in the fall to winter time of the year. This is also the time when our immune systems are compromised by cold damp or snowy weather, less use of fresh vegetables and fruits and closer contact with others (especially school children).
It is virtually impossible to avoid the virus, but the healthier your immune system is the less likely it will get out of hand. I only believe in intervening even herbally if the child's immune system seems not to be able to handle it.
Now they have come out with vaccines for Chickenpox which I personally think is a crock. The same doctor who mocked me for taking my kids to him for chicken pox, saying I was a silly woman to worry so over a natural childhood disease, used scare tactics on my friend to get her child vaccine for the chicken pox.
What I would do if my child contracted chicken pox is to keep them warm and let them go through it naturally. No herbs unless their body is being overwhelmed.