chickenpox

12 Curious Facts About Chickenpox

Many of us experienced chickenpox as children – a pretty itchy and uncomfortable experience! Sadly, this skin disease is pretty common among younger people – and it is indeed better to have endured it as a child than later on in life. Here are some important facts about chickenpox to help guide you through what this illness is all about.

Remember, this guide doesn’t take the place of professional medical advice. If you’re worried that you or a loved one might have the condition, speak to a medical professional as soon as possible.

1. Chickenpox is very contagious.

As you may know, chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection. The infection is caused by what’s known as the varicella-zoster virus (also known as VZV), a member of the herpesvirus family.

2. It is mostly seen in children

As mentioned above, chickenpox is most commonly seen in children. However, it can affect individuals of any age who have not been vaccinated or previously infected – contrary to popular belief.

3. It has various symptoms.

Symptoms of chickenpox usually include a red, itchy rash that starts on the face, chest, and back which then spreads to other parts of the body. Other symptoms may include headaches, general fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite.

interesting facts about chickenpox

4. Chickenpox can be caught via respiratory droplets.

Chickenpox spreads easily through respiratory droplets or direct contact with rashes of an infected person. It is highly contagious from one to two days before the rash appears until all the lesions have crusted over.

5. The incubation period is relatively long, too.

The incubation period of chickenpox is usually between 10 to 21 days after any initial exposure to the virus.

6. Chickenpox can lead to complications in certain people.

While chickenpox usually causes a mild illness, it can lead to complications in certain cases. This is particularly true in adults, newborns, pregnant women, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Complications may include bacterial skin infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, and, in rare cases, even death.

7. There is a vaccine for chickenpox.

Thankfully, a safe and effective vaccine for chickenpox has been available since the mid-1990s. The varicella vaccine is routinely recommended for children as part of the childhood immunization schedule.

8. We all retain the varicella-zoster virus.

Once a person recovers from chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus remains dormant in the body’s nerve cells. It can reactivate later in life, causing a condition known as shingles, which is characterized by a painful rash along one side of the body.

9. There are medications for chickenpox, too.

Treatment for chickenpox usually revolves around relieving the symptoms, such as itching and fever. Over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines and acetaminophen, may be recommended. However, it is important to avoid scratching the rash to prevent bacterial infections and scarring.

interesting facts about chickenpox

10. Patients need to be isolated.

Patients suffering from chickenpox should be isolated from others, especially those who are at high risk of complications until all lesions have crusted over. For example, if someone in the home has never had chickenpox or is pregnant, it is best to keep them separated.

11. You do become immune to chickenpox over time.

Once a person has had chickenpox, they typically develop lifelong immunity to the virus. However, as mentioned earlier, the virus can sometimes reactivate later in life, causing shingles.

12. It can be seasonal, too.

Chickenpox tends to be more common in late winters and early springs in temperate climates.

FAQs About Chickenpox

Can I go to work if my child has chickenpox?

Your child will need someone to care for them if they have chickenpox for the duration of the virus. It is also best to contact the people at your work to let them know about chickenpox in case any adults or pregnant women in the workplace have not had it and are at risk.

Can a parent of a child with chickenpox pass it on?

As mentioned above, once we have had chickenpox, we usually become immune to it. However, those who have not had it are at risk of easily catching the infection from someone in the same home.

What shouldn’t I eat during chickenpox?

On the whole, it is best to avoid foods that can irritate lesions. This includes spicy or salty foods.

Further reading
https://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/about/index.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chickenpox/symptoms-causes/syc-20351282

Do you know any interesting facts about chicken pox? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 17, 2024. Suggest an edit

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