7 Symptoms of Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is an infection caused by a virus, which is called the herpes varicella-zoster virus. The virus can be highly contagious to people with no immunity to the disease, because they haven’t had a vaccination, or because they have never had the illness. Today the vaccination for chickenpox is widely available, so the incidence of people having serious bouts of the disease that require hospital care are much lower than in years past. In the past, most of the population contracted the illness at some time in childhood and then developed a natural immunity to it.

For most people, chickenpox is a mild illness to get through, but it does come with a host of symptoms that can be difficult to experience. Chickenpox can usually be diagnosed by paying attention to the signs and symptoms of the illness, which can come on after 10 to 21 days after an initial exposure to the virus. Children who show signs of unusual fatigue, headache, high temperature and lack of appetite should be monitored for signs of an outbreak of a rash that indicate chickenpox. Children should be vaccinated against the disease, to guard against contracting a serious case with complications, (which can include pneumonia, dehydration, toxic shock syndrome, Reye’s syndrome and a range of bacterial infections) as well as to guard against infecting others they come in contact with. If a person does come down with chickenpox, the recovery period will last from five to ten days. Symptoms like fatigue and elevated temperature may come on about one or two days before an itchy rash appears on the skin. Here are the symptoms a patient can expect to endure if they are hit with the illness.

1. Skin Blisters

Skin blisters are a common symptom of chicken pox. These blisters begin as red-colored bumps on the skin surface, and as the illness progresses they fill with fluid. These blisters, which can be quite painful, can appear all over the body, even in the mouth or on the scalp. These blisters can also break out near the eyes, and in the genital region. These bumps and blisters can keep breaking out all over the body as the virus remains in the body. These water-blisters will eventually drain and dry out, but they will keep coming up until the virus has completely run its course. The chickenpox illness is very contagious to others right before (a day or two) the rash leading to blisters breaks out on the skin, which is when the illness becomes obvious. The red-speckles that cover the skin of a person who has chickenpox are a sure sign of the disease, as the patient will appear very “spotted” with the rash’s blisters until the virus has finally healed and left the body. Once a person has had chickenpox, they will have a natural immunity to the disease, but the dormant virus can manifest itself much later in life, in the form of shingles. A vaccine to prevent shingles is available, however, and is recommended for people over the age of 60.