Any child or adult who has never
had chickenpox or been vaccinated against it is at risk of getting the disease.
Chickenpox is passed from person to
person by direct contact or through the air by coughing and sneezing. It can also
spread by being exposed to the fluid from the blistering rash. Once you are exposed,
symptoms usually appear within a couple of weeks. But it may take as few as 10 and
many as 21 days for the chickenpox to develop.
Chickenpox is contagious for 1 to 2
days before the rash starts and until the blisters have all dried and become scabs.
blisters usually dry and become scabs within 5 to 7 days after the rash starts. Have
your children stay home and away from other children until all of the blisters have
scabbed over. It's important that people who are infected stay away from people with
weak immune system. This includes people who have an transplated organ or HIV, or
are getting cancer treatment.
Family members who have never had
chickenpox have a high chance of becoming infected when another family member in the
house is infected. The illness is often more severe in adults compared with
Most people who have had chickenpox will not get another case of
the disease for the rest of their lives. But the virus stays in nerve tissue and may
reactivate later in life. This illness is callled shingles. Very rarely, a second
of chickenpox does happen. Blood tests can confirm immunity to chickenpox in people
are unsure if they have had the disease.