The UV rays from the sun may inactivate the chickenpox virus on the skin before it spreads to another person, according to Dr. Phil Rice.

Writing about his work in Virology Journal, Dr. Rice explains that chickenpox is significantly less common in places with high levels of UV rays compared to places with low levels.  The UV rays can render the virus useless, making its spread less likely.  The idea that ultraviolet (UV) rays can inactivate viruses is not new, but this is the first time it has been applied to varicella zoster, the chickenpox virus.

Normally a mild, childhood illness, chickenpox has decreased significantly since widespread vaccination started in the last decade.  The problem is that adults who developed antibodies naturally, following a chickenpox infection and the subsequent oatmeal-bath, are losing their antibodies (and immunity).  The body needs constant reminder, by coming in contact with chickenpox, to maintain that natural immunity.  Since vaccination is making chickenpox rare, it leads to decreased immunity and re-infection (say “hello” to the nasty cousin, Shingles).

Here are some tips to boost your immune system to protect yourself from viruses:

  1. Sunlight – Not only does it feel good, but it helps your body make Vitamin D, an important part of a healthy immune system.  Get outside!
  2. Exposure – Practice makes perfect.  Give your immune system a chance to warm up by preparing on every germ you encounter!
  3. Whole-food nutrition – Houses built without good materials won’t last, neither will your body without good food.  Avoid the processed stuff and grab an apple!
  4. Chiropractic adjustments – Fighting an infection without the full strength of your nervous system is like reading a book without the lights on…you can probably do it, but it won’t be easy.  Getting adjusted unleashes the full power of your nervous system to properly fight infections!

Wondering about that chickenpox vaccine?  How about the other vaccines?  Join us andAmazing Births and Beyond for an Immunization Lecture.