Chickenpox and Shingles

Shingles and Chickenpox are Similar and Different

What is chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a common disease. It is a very uncomfortable itchy, red, ugly disease. Chickenpox was first discovered in Japan. If you are under the age of ten you are at a higher risk of getting chickenpox. It is one of the most common diseases for people who are under the age of fifteen. Chickenpox isn't always serious but in some cases it can be, if it is serious it can last up to four to five months. Chickenpox is contagious and it can spread quickly! Chickenpox mainly affects the brain and the respiratory.

The people who are at a higher risk of getting chickenpox would be, newborns, people with a weekend immune system, adults with kids, and pregnant woman. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella- zoster virus.

Chickenpox spreads by either contact with a rash from someone else with chickenpox or by touching or getting the liquid from the blisters from someone else with chickenpox or when someone else sneezes or coughs and it gets on you.

There is two ways you can get treated, number one you can take antibiotics that the doctor gives you and the second way is is taking antiviral drugs. Sometimes the doctor will give you itching medicine to stop the itching.

There is three phases with the chickenpox, one is red and pink bumps start appearing, number two is fluid blisters, and number three is crusts and scabs left from the blisters.

There is ways that you can prevent chickenpox. The first way is to get vaccinated. The second way is to avoid others who have it and wash hands frequently.The third way is simple just move away when someone else is about to sneeze and tell them to cover it.

There is some risk factors also and those are living with children that haven't had chickenpox, if you yourself haven't had chickenpox and haven't yet gotten vaccinated, and and if you work with children. There is a few related diseases to chickenpox and those are: measles, rubella, scarlet fever, roseola infantum, and fifth disease.

Did you know that chickenpox kills 100 to 150 Americans each year? We do have a vaccine for chickenpox it was licensed into the U.S.A. in 1995. When we didn't have the vaccine which was around the 1990's there were four million cases each year! Still with the vaccine 11,000 kids end up in the hospital each year. Did you know that only 2% of the people who who have been vaccinated get a very mild case of chickenpox. Almost 90% of the people who have gotten vaccinated won't get chickenpox. That is a lot of people that is now prevented! Did you know if you take two doses of the vaccine it's a 98% chance that it will be prevented?

Some Symptoms

  • Slowly starting to get a fever

  • Starting to lose appetite

  • Getting lots of headaches throughout the day

  • Constantly being tired

  • Feeling of being unwell

  • Stomach ache

  • Very slowly starting to get red bumps all over your body

  • Aching all over

  • Very high fever

  • Irritability

  • Having a sore throat repeatably

  • Having swollen glands

  • Having joint pains.

The vaccine

The vaccine for chickenpox has been a huge accomplishment! The inventor for the vaccine is named Dr, Michiaki Takahashi. He came up with the invention of the vaccine in the Osaka University. Dr. Michiaki Takahashi died recently at the age 85. He came up with the vaccine in the mid 1970's.

Millions of people worldwide are protected because of him. There are people that should and shouldn't get the vaccine and people that can and cant. People who should get the vaccine are, health care employees, teachers, people that take and work with kids, college students, people in the military or going into the military, and people who travel in foreign countries. People who cant get the vaccine are pregnant woman, people who are allergic to gelatin, neomycin, people who have an immune system disease, and anyone who is or is going to be treated for cancer.

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Shingles is caused by varicella-zoster virus that same virus that causes chickenpox. Chickenpox and shingles are practically the same. As you see in the pictures they look a lot a like. Shingles mostly occurs to people over the age of fifty, chickenpox mostly occurs to people that are young. If you have had chickenpox you most likely will get shingles when you are older. Just like chickenpox there is a vaccine for shingles it is called zostavax, it is a one time vaccination.

Most of the time when you get shingles you wont get it again, it is very rare that you'll get it a second or third time.

People that are over the age of fifty or sixty should get the vaccine even if they haven't had chickenpox. There is a few ways you can prevent getting shingles and those are getting the chickenpox vaccine and the shingles vaccine, if you get the chickenpox vaccine you might still have a little chance of getting the shingles because shingles and chickenpox are different in a way.

There is complications and those are vision loss and skin infections.

The ways that you can get treated if you get shingles are taking acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir.

The people that are at a higher risk of getting shingles would be people that haven't gotten vaccinated, people that have a weakened immune system, people that are over the age of fifty, people that have recovered from chickenpox,

There is risk factors for having the shingles and those are people that are over the age of fifty, taking certain medicines, and undergoing cancer treatments.


  • Burning pain
  • Itching on only one part of the body
  • Numbness
  • Getting the chills
  • Tingling feeling
  • A high fever
  • An upset stomach
  • Having headaches more than usual
  • Itching a lot
  • Sensitivity to touching
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