What is chicken pox?
Chicken pox is a very contagious disease caused by the herpes zoster virus, which causes fever and an itchy rash. Symptoms are usually mild in children and may be more severe in adults. Chicken pox can affect all ages, but is most common in children.
What are the symptoms?
Frequent signs and symptoms of chicken pox include:
- Abdominal pain or a general ill feeling that lasts 1 to 2 days
- Skin eruptions often start on the chest, stomach and back , and may spread to almost anywhere on the body including the scalp, genitals and face
- Blisters collapse within 24 hours and form scabs. New crops of blisters erupt every 3 to 4 days
- Adults may have other symptoms that resemble influenza
What is the treatment?
The Take Care Health Provider can diagnose chicken pox by evaluating the appearance of the skin eruptions. Treatment is typically directed toward relieving symptoms. For relief of itching, use cool-water soaks or cool-water compresses. It is important not to scratch the skin, as this can lead to secondary infection. Children usually recover from chicken pox in 7 to 10 days. Adults may take longer to heal. After recovery, a person has lifelong immunity against a recurrence of chicken pox. To prevent chicken pox, Take Care Health immunizes patients ages 7 and up with the Varicella chicken pox vaccine.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.