Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It spreads from one person to another through coughs and sneezes. Chickenpox occurs commonly in children but can affect adults as well. Once a child is infected with it, he acquires a lifelong immunity from the disease. The most characteristic symptom is an itchy rash that forms blisters that in turn end up forming scabs. Chickenpox is typically a self-limiting condition. However, it can be a real danger for people with low immunity, including pregnant women and newborns.
Spots are usually the earliest definite sign of chicken pox. The rash generally takes the form of elevated reddish spots with no visible fluid inside them. These itchy spots start at the chest and back. They then spread to the face and end up covering the entire body. The rash can last up to one month, while the infectious stage is usually only one to two weeks. A person with chickenpox is infectious one to two days before the appearance of any symptoms.
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