Chicken pox (varicella) is a communicable disease where the patients presents with itchy red spots and or blisters that form over the body. This disease is common in children, but not uncommon for adults to contact the disease. The populations with compromised immune systems, like pregnant women, infants and adolescents and adults, have a hard time fighting the infection. Due to the extreme contagious nature of the disease patient may need to limit contact with the community. Children may need to stay home from school and adults from work, until the sores have crusted over. After the disease has run its course, the virus lays dominant in the nervous system, and reappear as another viral infection called shingles. Shingles, is a red rash that turns into painful blisters, forming along a nerve path, usually on one side. It is caused by the same virus as chicken pox. Shingles is only contagious to individuals who have direct contact with the blisters and who have not contacted chicken pox illness during their life time.
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It can spread easily. You can get it from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or shares food or drinks. You can also get it if you touch the fluid from a chickenpox blister. A person who has chickenpox can spread the virus even before he or she has any symptoms. Chickenpox is most easily spread from 2 to 3 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over. You are at risk for chickenpox if you have never had the illness and haven't had the chickenpox vaccine. If someone you live with gets chickenpox, your risk is even higher because of the close contact. The first symptoms of chickenpox usually develop about 14 to 16 days after contact with a person infected with the virus. Most people feel sick and have a fever, a decreased appetite, a headache, a cough, and a sore throat. The itchy chickenpox rash usually appears about 1 or 2 days after the first symptoms...
References: CDC- Monitoring Varicella Vaccine Impact - Chickenpox. (2012). Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/hcp/monitoring-varicella.html
Chickenpox Complications - Varicella. (2011). Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/about/complications.html
Chickenpox (Varicella). (2014). Retrieved from www/webmd.com/vaccines/tc/chickenpox-varicella-topic-overview
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