What causes chickenpox and how is it spread?
Chickenpox is an infectious disease. Chickenpox is very contagious and spreads from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing.
How long does it take to show signs of chickenpox after being exposed? A person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. It takes from 10-21 days after contact with an infectious person for someone to develop chickenpox.
What are the symptoms of chickenpox?
For people who have not been vaccinated, their first indication of chickenpox may be fever and/or headache, followed by the appearance of a rash on the trunk and face. The rash goes through the following phases as it spreads:
Is there a treatment for chickenpox?
There is no "cure" for chickenpox, only supportive treatment (bed rest, fluids, and fever reduction). In some cases, a physician may prescribe an antiviral drug to lessen the severity.
The person with chickenpox may try the following home remedies to relieve the itching:
How long does it take to recover from chickenpox?
Chickenpox most commonly causes an illness that lasts about 5-10 days.
How long is a person with chickenpox contagious?
A person infected with the virus is contagious 1 to 2 days prior to exhibiting symptoms and remains contagious until all blisters have scabbed over.
What is my best protection so I don’t get the chickenpox?
Chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent chickenpox. Vaccination not only protects vaccinated persons, it also reduces the risk for exposure in the community for persons unable to be vaccinated because of illness or other conditions, including those who may be at greater risk for severe disease. While no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing disease, the chickenpox vaccine is very effective: about 8 to 9 of every 10 people who are vaccinated are completely protected from chickenpox. In addition, the vaccine almost always prevents against severe disease. If a vaccinated person does get chickenpox, it is usually a very mild case lasting only a few days and involving fewer skin lesions (usually less than 50), mild or no fever, and few other symptoms.
When in doubt call your healthcare provider or call the Health Department.
What should I do if I think I have the chickenpox?
Contact your healthcare provider a walkin clinic and explain that you have been exposed and describe your symptoms. The Health Department does not offer this service. If at all possible, do not go to school or work or other public settings where you may expose others to the disease.
How serious is chickenpox?
In most children, chickenpox is usually a mild disease. Adults may develop a more serious disease called shingles with more complications. People with compromised immunity, pregnant women and infants born to mothers who have never had chickenpox may also be at risk for more serious complications.
What are possible complications from chickenpox?
Can you get chickenpox more than once?