Chickenpox is a viral infection that is highly contagious. It may also be referred to as varicella because it is caused by a virus known as herpes varicella-zoster. Chickenpox can be spread several ways including skin-to-skin contact, saliva, and airborne respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing. You can also become infected after touching a contaminated surface like a doorknob.
Before a vaccine was created to prevent this uncomfortable infection, most people experienced chickenpox as a child. If you already had chickenpox, you have built up immunity from getting it again in life; nevertheless, the virus still remains in your body. Even though herpes varicella-zoster can stay dormant for decades, it might reactivate and cause shingles later in life.
The obvious rash from chickenpox can appear anywhere from one to three weeks after exposure. However, the symptoms last only five to ten days. Sometimes complications can make chickenpox more serious, but it is generally a mild condition that has obvious symptoms and easy treatments.
Although this is not the most noticeable symptom of chickenpox, it is one of the first. A fever is a common sign of sickness. It is your body’s way of trying to fight off an infection. The body’s internal temperature should be 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), so anything above that is considered above normal. However, a fever really is not considered serious until it reaches 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). You can expect the rash to appear about one to two days after the fever strikes.
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