Chickenpox (also known as Varicella) is a mild, common virus that affects young children. It causes a rash around the face and back then spreads to almost anywhere on the body. In older children and adults they usually become sicker than younger children.
It spreads from person to person through the air. After being in contact with someone infected with Chickenpox, it can take up to 21 days to develop chickenpox.
Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella zoster virus. This virus causes chickenpox and shingles and is a member of the herpes virus family.
- High Temperature
- Headache (The above 3 symptoms normally appear before the rash)
- Rash (Looks like spots or insect bites)
Usually Chickenpox is left and it clears itself up. To relieve some of the symptoms such as the Fever, some take mild painkillers. [Do not give aspirin to children under 16]. To relieve itching of the rash dab the rash with calamine lotion. Try bathing children in warm baths with no soap every few hours. In serious cases a doctor may prescribe a drug called acyclovir.
Occasionally, serious complications can occur. Such complications include; inflammation of the brain and pneumonia. These complications are rare in children. Those at risk the most are people who have a low ability to resist infections.
If you catch chickenpox whilst pregnant it can be dangerous to the unborn baby. See your doctor urgently if you think you have chickenpox whilst pregnant.