Chicken pox, also known as varicella, is a contagious viral disease. Varicella was first recorded more than 400 years ago. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, or VZV. VZV is a type of herpes virus. The varicella-zoster virus can cause two diseases. It can result in chickenpox or shingles. Chickenpox is typically mild, but can sometimes cause serious complications. chickenpox can be serious. A vaccine was developed for VZV in 1944, but before then it was a common adolescent disease. For children, chickenpox is not a serious illness, but if an adult that did not have chicken pox as a child contracts it, it can become serious. The same virus that causes chicken pox can also cause shingles. After having chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in in your body, but has the possibility of re-emerging as shingles during adulthood.
Chicken pox can be spread very easily. The virus can be spread when you come into contact to the actual rash, or through the air when someone with chickenpox coughs or sneezes. This is because there are droplets of the VZV virus in the air as a result of someone with chickenpox coughing or sneezing. Chicken pox is spread to those who have never had chickenpox before or have not yet received the vaccine. The virus is most commonly spread during late winter to early spring.
Chickenpox is contagious one to two days before an infected person gets the rash until all of the chicken pox blisters have become scabs. It typically takes 10 to 21 days to develop chickenpox after being exposed to the virus. For most, once you contract chicken pox, you are immune for life. In some, however, you can get chicken pox more than once. This is not common.
Chickenpox usually lasts about five to ten days. About one to two days before the rash appears you may experience a high fever, loss of appetite, headache, flu like symptoms, and tiredness. The typical chickenpox rash consists of small, itchy blisters surrounded by inflamed skin.They blisters are fluid filled and eventually will turn into scabs after about a week. It usually appears a few days after being exposed. The rash can start on your face, scalp or chest, and spread rapidly across the body. Sometimes those who have been vaccinated can still contract the disease. If this is the case the symptoms are usually milder with fewer blisters and either a mild fever or no fever at all.
Some of those who have chickenpox may experience more severe symptoms and be at a higher risk of complications. These complications are typically not common in healthy people who contact the disease. Infants, adolescents, adults, pregnant...