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CHICKEN-POX

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Causes and Symptoms: Chicken-pox is an acute contagious disease of children, characterised by fever and an eruption on the skin: children upto the age of ten are more prone to it. In spite of its superficial resemblance to smallpox, it is a different disease. It comes on with feverishness and pain in the back and legs. There may be a chill too but within 24 hours of the onset of the fever, small red pimples appear on the skin which turn into vesicles which suppurate or shrivel up with a brown crust on them. Unlike smallpox, the vesicles of chicken-pox appear simultaneously all over the body.

Remedies: No medication is recommended because the disease disappears when it has completed its course: the only thing that can be done is to stop any medication that might have been started for fever, the moment the eruption typical of chicken-pox begins to appear. It takes about a week to cure, but if it strikes adults (which it does infrequently) it may leave the patient in a state of prostration. There are no dietary restrictions to be recommended in the case of chicken-pox because it does not affect the digestive system. Care should, however, be taken to avoid purgatives in case of constipation and hard to digest food should not be given to the patient.

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