There is no specific treatment for Chicken Pox. The usual control measures are notifications, isolation of cases for about six days or so after the onset of rash, and disinfections of articles soiled by nose and throat discharges.
Prevention of Chicken Pox
- Varicella Zoster Immunoglobulin (VZIG).
- Varicella Zoster Immunoglobulin (VZIG), within 72 hours of exposure has been recommended for prevention. A dose of 1.25 to 5 ml given intramuscularly will modify or prevent the disease. The current recommendation is that it should be reserved for immunosuppressed contacts of acute cases or newborn contacts. It has also been shown to provide some improvement in high–risk children with Varicella.
No serious attempt was made in the past to develop a vaccine against Chicken Pox probably because the disease, in general, was not considered a health priority. A live attenuated vaccine (OKA strain) developed by Takahashi in Japan has been extensively studied in field trials. The frequency of mild local reactions at the site of inoculation is about 1%. A general reaction to the vaccine, mainly rash or mild Varicella may occur. Sero conversion, after vaccination, in healthy sero–negative children is over 90%. The vaccine has proved safe and effective in preventing the disease.
However, opinion is divided about the need for a vaccine against Chicken Pox. Some consider that since Chicken Pox is a relatively mild illness, there is little need for a vaccine. Further, it may be disastrous if Chicken Pox is postponed from childhood when it is mild, to adulthood, when it is more severe. One of the major objections to a live vaccine is the potential of the Chicken Pox virus to establish a latent infection; this may produce Zoster in later years more frequently or in a more severe form than the natural disease.