Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral illness, which in children is usually a fairly mild illness producing a temperature, cough and an itchy rash. Most children miss a week or so of school and quickly return to normal good health. Serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis are uncommon. Once infected children have lifelong immunity. There is now a vaccine to protect children from chickenpox. It spreads rapidly via airborne droplets from coughing or sneezing, direct contact with the rash, or contact with sheets or clothes recently used by an infected person.
Chickenpox - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Anyone who has not had chickenpox or gotten the chickenpox vaccine can get the disease. Chickenpox illness usually lasts about 4 to 7 days. The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the chest, back, and face, and then spread over the entire body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all of the blisters to become scabs.
Why Vaccinate Adults Against Chickenpox?
The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. Everyone — including children, adolescents, and adults — should get two doses of chickenpox vaccine if they have never had chickenpox or were never vaccinated. Chickenpox vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing the disease. Most people who get the vaccine will not get chickenpox. If a vaccinated person does get chickenpox, the symptoms are usually milder with fewer or no blisters they may have just red spots and mild or no fever.
Adults are 25 times more likely to die from chickenpox than children. Chickenpox may cause complications such as pneumonia or, rarely, an inflammation of the brain encephalitis , both of which can be serious. Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus. Years or even decades later, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.