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Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is most commonly seen in children, but can also occur in adults who have not previously had the infection or been vaccinated against it.

Symptoms of chickenpox usually appear within 10-21 days after exposure to the virus and may include:

  • Itchy red rash: The rash usually starts on the chest, back, and face, and then spreads to the rest of the body. It begins as small red bumps, which then develop into fluid-filled blisters that eventually form scabs and heal.
  • Fever: A mild to moderate fever of 101°F or lower is common with chickenpox.
  • Headache: Many people with chickenpox experience headache and body aches.
  • Fatigue: Tiredness and fatigue are also common symptoms of chickenpox.

Chickenpox is typically a mild illness that resolves on its own within two to three weeks. However, in some cases, it can lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis, or bacterial skin infections.

Prevention of chickenpox is possible through vaccination. The varicella vaccine is given to children as part of routine childhood immunizations and is also recommended for adults who have not previously had chickenpox. If someone is infected with chickenpox, it is important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus to others. This includes staying home from school or work until all blisters have crusted over, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands frequently.

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  • "Chickenpox." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Nov. 2021,
  • Arvin, Ann M. "Varicella-zoster virus." Clinics in Microbiology Reviews, vol. 11, no. 3, 1998, pp. 429-441.