Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by varicella-zoster virus infection causing itchy rash with fluid-filled blisters. The disease spreads by droplets from a sneeze or cough or by direct contact with the infected person or his belongings such as clothes, bed linens, and other commodities. The infected person develops infection from 10 to 21 days, and the symptoms usually last for 5-10 days.
Major symptoms of Chickenpox that are accompanied with itchy blisters include fever, loss of appetite, headache, tiredness and breathing difficulties. The skin around rashes is painful and red. The rashes that are observed during infection occur in various stages;
- Rash- These become severe when they cover the whole body.
- Spots- They are small, red and itchy and develop in clusters.
- Blisters- They develop on top of spots.
- Clouding- A crust develops over the blisters that start drying out. This occurs within 48 hours.
- Healing- The crust falls of on their own and patient starts recovering from the symptoms.
Only a small percentage of people develop serious complications, sometimes leading to death. High-risk population includes newborns and people with weakened immune systems. Complications include pneumonia and skin infections. Severe problems may arise in pregnant women who suffer from Chickenpox, causing birth defects, infections in the newborn, or sometimes may lead to stillbirths. Precautions must be therefore taken in order to avoid spreading of infection and consult the doctor as soon as symptoms of Chickenpox start to appear.