Chickenpox, also called varicella, is characterized by itchy red blisters that appear all over the body. A virus causes this condition, It often affects children, and was so common it was considered a childhood rite of passage.
An itchy rash is the most common symptom of chickenpox. The infection will have to be in your body for around seven to 21 days before the rash and other symptoms develop. You start to be contagious to those around you up to 48 hours before the skin rash starts to occur.
The non-rash symptoms may last a few days and include:
- loss of appetite
One or two days after you experience these symptoms, the classic rash will begin to develop. The rash goes through three phases before you recover. These include:
- You develop red or pink balls all over your body.
- The bumps become blisters filled with fluid that leaks.
- The bumps become crusty, scab over, and begin to heal.
The bumps on your body will not all be in the same phase at the same time. New bumps will continuously appear throughout your infection. The rash may be very itchy, especially before it scabs over with a crust.
You are still contagious until all the blisters on your body have scabbed over. The crusty scabbed areas eventually fall off. It takes seven to 14 days to disappear completely.
Varicella-zoster virus, causes the chickenpox infection. Most cases occur through contact with an infected person. The virus is contagious to those around you for one to two days before your blisters appear. VZV remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over.
The virus can spread through:
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