Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Chickenpox: The Basics

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Chickenpox: The Basics

Article excerpt

What is chickenpox? Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. The Varicella-zoster virus also causes shingles, a latent form of the chickenpox virus.

How is it spread? Chickenpox virus spreads easily from people with chickenpox or shingles to others who have never had the disease or been vaccinated. The virus spreads mainly by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters and possibly through tiny droplets from infected people that get into the air after they breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze. A person with chickenpox can spread the disease from 1 to 2 days before they get the rash until all their chickenpox blisters have formed scabs (usually 5-7 days). It takes about 2 weeks (10-21 days) after exposure to a person with chickenpox or shingles for someone to develop chickenpox.

What are its symptoms? Itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs, located anywhere on the body. Other typical symptoms might begin to appear 1 to 2 days before the rash and include:

* Fever

* Fatigue

* Loss of appetite

* Headache

How is it treated? Your doctor might prescribe an antihistamine to relieve itching, but for the most part, the disease is allowed to run its course. …

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