What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox (also known as varicella) is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster
What are the symptoms of chickenpox?
Individually, the symptoms of chickenpox are similar to those of other, more
common medical problems. But when these symptoms occur together it is very easy
for a doctor to diagnose chickenpox. The symptoms of chickenpox include:
Who is most susceptible to getting chickenpox?
- a blister-like, itchy rash than can cover most
or all of the body
- a high fever
- the exacerbation of an existing asthma condition
- a feeling of tiredness
Anyone can contract chickenpox, but it is far more common in children under 15 years of age. About 4 million Americans come down with chickenpox every year.
Is chickenpox contagious?
Yes, very much so! The chickenpox virus is easily spread by contact with an
affected person's skin or by breathing air contaminated by the coughs or sneezes
of an infected person.
Is a vaccine available?
Yes, a vaccine for the varicella-zoster virus is available. It is about 85%
effective in preventing the onset of chickenpox.
Is chickenpox a "one-time" disease?
Most people suffer from chickenpox only once, but a second occurrence can
develop in rare instances.
Also, once a person contracts the chickenpox virus it never leaves the body.
Instead, it retreats into the nerve roots where it can lie dormant for years,
even for the rest of your life. But in about 1/10 of the population the virus
becomes active again in later years manifesting itself as Shingles.
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