Chicken Pox

Chickenpox (varicella) is an acute infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It predominantly affects children under 12 years of age. Although almost all persons develop lifelong immunity after chickenpox infection, the virus may remain latent in the body and recur many years later as herpes zoster (shingles).

Features

  • Patient usually presents with fever and itchy skin rashes.
  • Rashes develop in crops over a period of 5 days on body, then spread to the face, arms and legs.
  • The rashes first appear as flat spots and later as vesicles. The vesicles continue for 3 - 4 days, then dry up and form scabs.
  • The patient usually recovers in about 2 - 4 weeks.

Mode of transmission

  • Mainly spreads through droplets or air.
  • Can also spread through direct or indirect contact with the discharge from vesicles

Prevention

  • Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene.
  • Receive chickenpox vaccine. About 90% of persons who receive the vaccine will acquire immunity.