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Facts About...


What is it?

Chickenpox is an illness caused by a virus. This virus is most common in children and is usually mild. Skin infections are the most common complication and can be mild or severe. Pneumonia, infections of the brain (encephalitis) or a severe infection such as Group A Streptococcus disease (flesh-eating disease) is rare.

How is it spread?

Chickenpox is easily spread from person to person through saliva, sneezing/coughing, and contact with fluid from the lesions. When there has been contact with an infected person it takes about 2-3 weeks, commonly 14-16 days, before symptoms develop. People who have chickenpox can spread the virus 1-2 days before the onset of the rash, and for up to 5 days after the rash appears and until all the blisters have crusted, (longer if someone has immune system problems). Children can continue to go to school or daycare if they feel well enough to attend. If your child has a fever or is too sick to participate in activities he/she should stay home.

What do I look for?

How is it treated?

Treatment is under the direction of the doctor/health care provider.

Varicella infection in pregnancy requires prompt treatment within 24-48 hours of the onset of the rash.

Chickenpox can be serious in:

How can I protect my children and myself?

August 8, 2014