Topical Guide 115
Disease and Illness: Childhood Diseases: Chicken Pox
I GOT THE CHICKEN POX about halfway through the second grade, and I had to stay in bed wearing flannel pajamas with the ends of the sleeves sewn shut so that I couldn’t scratch my vesicles.
Little Follies, “The Fox and the Clam”
Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious disease caused by the initial infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). The disease results in a characteristic skin rash that forms small, itchy blisters, which eventually scab over. … The disease is often more severe in adults than in children.
Chickenpox is an airborne disease which spreads easily from one person to the next through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. … People usually only get chickenpox once. Although reinfections by the virus occur, these reinfections usually do not cause any symptoms.
Since its introduction in 1995, the varicella vaccine has resulted in a decrease in the number of cases and complications from the disease. It protects about 70 to 90 percent of people from disease with a greater benefit for severe disease. Routine immunization of children is recommended in many countries. …
Chickenpox occurs in all parts of the world. … Before routine immunization the number of cases occurring each year was similar to the number of people born. Since immunization the number of infections in the United States has decreased nearly 90%. In 2015 chickenpox resulted in 6,400 deaths globally—down from 8,900 in 1990. … Chickenpox was not separated from smallpox until the late 19th century. In 1888 its connection to shingles was determined. The first documented use of the term chicken pox was in 1658. Various explanations have been suggested for the use of “chicken” in the name, one being the relative mildness of the disease [compared to smallpox, I assume—MD].
Gifts: Hidden Agendas Behind Some
Audio Equipment: “Unbreakable” Records
One day, Matthew’s mother drove him to my house. My mother came into the room with a package for me, a gift from Matthew. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, but I could see from the shape that it was a record. …
The record was called The Amazing Randy the Unbreakable Record. …
“Now let me do something for you. Get yourself into a comfortable position and tell me about everything that’s bothering you. Tell me your hopes and dreams, your fears and worries, your hideous urges, and I’ll listen. I’ll listen sympathetically. I’ll listen to you without getting tired. Maybe you think that all the other kids are having a lot more fun than you are. Their mothers and fathers never make them do the things that yours make you do. They don’t have any chores to do around the house. Their daddies like taking out the garbage so much that they always want to do it themselves. I know how it is. I’m on your side. The other kids are happy as clams, and you’re miserable. Don’t let it get you down. When you’re feeling really bad, just put old Randy on your record player, and when you hear me saying ‘shhhhh-click, shhhhh-click, shhhhh-click,’ you’ll know that it’s old Randy’s way of letting you know that he hears you, he understands you, he agrees with you. When you’ve had your say, just turn me over. Now go right ahead and tell me aaaall about it. Shhhhh-click, shhhhh-click, shhhhh-click—”
Little Follies, “The Fox and the Clam”
Genie, the Magic Record (1946). Performed by Peter Lind Hayes, accompanied by Jimmy Carroll and His Orchestra. Written by Robert Hilliard, Richard Miles, and Simon Rady.
[more to come on Friday, October 22, 2021]
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