Picture of Varicella (Chickenpox) Virus
Varicella (chickenpox) is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The first sign of chickenpox is usually a blister-like rash, itching, fatigue, and fever. Initially, the rash appears on the stomach, back, and face. The rash can then spread to all parts of the body and cause up to 250 to 500 itchy blisters. Babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems have a greater risk of potential complications from chickenpox. The best way to prevent chickenpox is to receive the chickenpox vaccine.
Treatment of chickenpox includes therapies to reduce uncomfortable symptoms. Calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths can help soothe skin and relieve itching. Over-the-counter pain relievers help reduce fever. Potential serious complications from chickenpox include pneumonia and encephalitis. Chickenpox is responsible for more deaths than measles (rubeola), mumps, whooping cough (pertussis), H. flu (Haemophilus influenzae type B), meningitis combined. Contrary to what many people believe, chickenpox can be a serious condition.
Text Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Chickenpox Varicella"