What is Chicken Pox?

Chickenpox is one of the most common infections occurring among children. It is caused by Varicella Zoster Virus — an agent responsible for the fever and itchy rash experienced during infection.  It is extremely contagious.
Classic signs can include:
  • Fever
  • Red itchy skin rash on the face, the back, and the abdomen
  • Headache
  • Stomachache
  • Nausea/vomiting
The rash starts as tiny red bumps, and often develop into clear fluid-filled blisters that gradually turn into scabs. These can spread across the entire body including the genitalia, the insides of the mouth, and even the eyelids. The rash often lasts for about 21 days and is highly contagious during the entire 21 day period.
Due to that, it is often advisable that an infected person should avoid close contact with anyone, especially those that haven’t had previous exposure to the disease yet, since this can be easily spread in the air through sneezing or coughing, or contact with the infected person’s saliva, mucus, or fluid blisters.

Fortunately, due to the development of vaccines, the incidence of chickenpox has significantly declined over the years. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. The varicella vaccine will provide the best protection for your children against chickenpox.

As recommended, everyone should get two doses of the varicella vaccine, especially those that haven’t had prior experience with chickenpox. Children should get their initial dose at 12-15 months and have their booster shot at 4-6 years old. Although this doesn’t completely eradicate the chances of acquiring the disease, the symptoms can be milder and lesser when it occurs.

Chickenpox symptoms in adults can be much more severe. You may want to consider getting the vaccine, yourself. However, for those who already had chickenpox, be aware that you can develop shingles. There is a vaccination to prevent a shingles outbreak.  If you have any questions, ask us about it at your next checkup. If you think your child may have chickenpox, give us a call. You may also want to consider a virtual appointment.