WANTED: Varicella

Causes chicken pox

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Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

The virus spreads easily. You can get it from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, or shares food or drinks. You can also get it by touching the fluid from a chicken pox blister.

It is most commonly found in children, but anyone can get it anytime during their life. The number of chicken pox cases is not reported, but since the start of the Varicella vaccine, chicken pox has dropped by 80%.

Symptoms include fever, headache, and sore throat with a rash that usually appears 1-2 days after the first symptoms start. After the red spot appears it usually takes 1-2 days to go through the stages of blistering, bursting, drying, and crusting over. New spots will appear every day for up to 5-7 days. When all of the blisters have crusted over, the person is no longer contagious. Chicken pox can occur on any part of the body and are most commonly seen on the stomach, chest, and back. Some people will have a mild case with only a few blisters, others will be covered.

The chicken pox vaccine or Varicella is the only way to protect against chickenpox. It is recommended to have 2 doses. You may treat the itching with Calamine lotion or cool baking soda is bath water.

Created by: Logan Martzahn
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