Pure Liquid Gold
General Health Information
Chicken pox is a very contagious viral disease that causes an itchy outbreak of skin blisters. The chicken pox virus spreads from person to person by direct contact with fluid from broken chicken pox blisters. It also spreads through the air by coughing or sneezing.
Chicken pox is usually a mild disease. However, in adults and children with weakened immune systems, chicken pox can cause serious complications and even death. Chicken pox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. The same virus causes both chicken pox (varicella) and shingles (zoster). Varicella zoster virus is a member of the herpes virus family.
Chicken pox is so contagious in its early stages that an exposed person who has not had chickenpox has a 70% to 80% chance of getting the disease. After infection, the virus stays in the body for life. It is claimed the you cannot get chicken pox twice but i was informed that people with compromised immune systems or those taking certain treatments for cancer, or people with Aids, can get more than one outbreak. A person with shingles can spread the virus to an adult or child who has not had chicken pox, and that person can develop chicken pox. The same virus that cause chicken pox causes shingles.
The signs and symptoms of chicken pox are a mild fever, headaches and an itchy outbreak of blisters on the scalp, face, and torso. The blisters dry and become scabs in 4 to 5 days. The blisters occur in successive crops that can produce hundreds of scabs. An infected person is contagious from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs.
Symptoms of chicken pox usually start within 2 to 3 weeks after contact with an infected person. Although most people recover from chicken pox uneventfully or with a few minor scars, a small percentage suffer more serious complications.
The most common complications of chicken pox are skin infections and pneumonia. Other complications are encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and hepatitis. Chicken pox can also lead to severe problems in pregnant women, causing stillbirths, birth defects, or infection of the newborn during childbirth. Almost everyone gets chicken pox by adulthood.
In the United States, chicken pox's affects about 4 million persons per year, mostly children. In temperate climates, most cases occur in the late winter and spring.
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