Chickenpox is a common illness that causes an itchy rash and red spots or blisters (pox) all over the body. It is most common in children, but most people will get chickenpox at some point in their lives if they have not had the chickenpox vaccine.
Chickenpox usually isn’t serious in healthy children. But it can cause problems for pregnant women, newborns, teens and adults, and people who have immune system problems that make it hard for the body to fight infection. After you have had chickenpox, you are not likely to get it again. But the virus stays in your body long after you get over the illness. If the virus becomes active again, it can cause a painful viral infection called Shingles.
Chicken pox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It can spread easily. You can get if from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or shares food or drinks. You can also get it if you touch the fluid from a chickenpox blister. A person who has chickenpox can spread the virus even before he or she has any symptoms. Chickenpox is most easily spread from 2-3 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over. You are at risk for chickenpox if you have never had the illness and have not had the chickenpox vaccine. If someone you live with gets chickenpox, your risk is even higher because of the close contact.
- Sore throat
- Chickenpox blisters
It usually takes 14-16 days to get the symptoms of chickenpox after you have been around someone with the virus (incubation period). After a chickenpox red spot appears, it usually takes about 1-2 days for the spot to go thru all its stages; this includes blistering, bursting, drying and crusting over. New red spots will appear every day for up to 5-7 days.