Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is a sickness that is highly contagious which is primarily caused by the varicella zoster virus. It generally begins with skin rash which appears in either three or two waves, mainly on the head and the body and not on the hands as thought by many. The parts of the body which are infected become itchy and pockmarks appear as well as tiny open scores. The disesase is not very fatal; it is less severe on children as compared to the adults.

People with an immune system that is suppressed such as pregnant women and those suffering from other illnesses are at a higher risk of suffering more seriously than the people with a strong immune system. The most recent complication of this sickness is caused once the varicella zoster virus is reactivated. Varicella (Chicken pox) The incubation period of chicken pox is ten to twenty one days; it is usually spread through sneezes or coughs from ill people. One can also get the disease via direct contact with a sick person especially when one gets into contact with the rash secretions.

An individual suffering from this illness is infectious from the first to five days before any rashes can be seen on the skin. The contagious phase continues until each and every blister has developed into scabs. This might take five to ten days. Once an individual is infected for the first time by chicken pox, one develops an immunity that protects him from any other attack by the disease through out his life time. For the expectant women, the antibodies that are produced as a result of vaccination or previous infection of the disease are transferred to the fetus through the placenta.

Women who are completely immune to this sickness cannot become infected by chicken pox. They therefore, do not need to worry for their infants or for themselves. The infection of varicella in expectant women is capable of leading to viral transmission through the placenta and thus has the fetus infected too. Should the infection occur during the first twenty eight weeks of gestation, it can easily cause the syndrome of fetal varicella which is quite fatal and thus pregnant women should always seek proper medical services to prevent such from occurring.

The lesions of chicken pox usually begin as 2 to 4 millimeter papules which are red in color; they then develop outlines which are irregular. A slim walled clear vesicle then develops on top of the red papules. After about eight to twelve hours, the clear vesicle fluid turns cloudy and the vesicle bursts leaving behind a crust. The vesicle fluid is very contagious, but the moment the lesion crust dries, it is no longer considered to be contagious any more.

In order to prevent the severity of chicken pox, vaccination is very important; the first vaccination of varicella was developed in 1974 and was derived from a strain known as Oka. In United States, the vaccination has been available since 1995. In some countries, chicken pox vaccination is mandatory for all children starting their elementary school. This protection is not effective for their entire lives. Therefore, more vaccination is required in future about five years from the first immunization.

Since the disease is highly contagious, people can avoid it by avoiding direct contact with those infected. The individuals who are infected should cover their mouths and noses every time they are sneezing or coughing so as to prevent the virus causing chicken pox from spreading to other people. Despite the fact that there is no known prescribed clinical studies to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the calamine lotion topical application, the topical barrier which contains zinc oxide is commonly used in the treatment of chicken pox and has shown very good results.

During the entire treatment period of chicken pox, it is very important that the patient maintains proper hygiene, the skin of the patient should be washed on a daily basis with warm water. This is very important as it prevents secondary bacterial infection. Small quantities of vinegar can be added in to the warm water used to clean the skin of the person suffering from chicken pox as it helps the blisters to dry faster. Chicken pox vaccination in the United States is about ninety percent of the entire population.

There is concomitant decline in the cases of varicella deaths and hospitalizations as a result of chicken pox. The vaccinations have greatly reduced mortality rates among the Americans. Clinical data has shown that the vaccine is very effective for more than ten years in preventing an individual from suffering from the disease and even when vaccinated people are infected with the virus the complications are usually mild. Conclusion Chicken pox is a highly contagious ailment that is capable of causing numerous deaths once an outbreak occurs.

Just like US has made it mandatory for everyone to be immunized, all other countries should also do the same. For those people suffering from the illness, they should seek proper medical services so as to avoid the complications associated with the sickness. In order to avoid spreading of the disease to other people, those suffering from chicken pox should maintain good hygiene at all times.


  • Arvin, A. M. & Gershon, A. A. (2000): Varicella-zoster virus: virology and clinical management ISBN 0521660246, Cambridge University Press.
  • Davison, A J. & Scott, J. E. (1986): The Complete DNA Sequence of Varicella-Zoster Virus, Journal article of general virology vol. 15
  • Hay, W. W. et al (2002): Current Pediatric Diagnosis & Treatment, ISBN 0071383840, McGraw-Hill Professional
  • Paryani, S. G. & Arvin A. M. (2009): Intrauterine infection with varicella-zoster virus after maternal varicella, Journal article of medicine vol. 24
  • Wolff, M. H. , Schunemann, S. & Schmidt, A. (1999): Varicella-Zoster virus: molecular biology, pathogenesis, and clinical aspects, ISBN 3805568843, Karger Publishers.

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Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It can spread easily. You can get it from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or shares food or drinks. You can also get it if you touch the fluid from a chickenpox …

Chickenpox is a highly communicable virus named the varicella-zoster virus and closely resembles the herpes virus. The virus can be released into the air by coughing or sneezing, spreading the virus from person to person. The virus also can be …

Chickenpox is a highly communicable virus named the varicella-zoster virus and closely resembles the herpes virus. The virus can be released into the air by coughing or sneezing, spreading the virus from person to person. The virus also can be …

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