Pediatric Chicken Pox
Chicken pox is a highly contagious infection that causes an itchy rash on the skin with blisters.
Chicken pox is a viral infection that can easily be passed from person-to-person. The infection causes a very itchy rash, with small, fluid-filled blisters on the skin. While most people experience chicken pox as a fairly mild illness, some people have serious reactions and major illness.
While chicken pox was once considered to be a condition that most children contracted at some point in childhood, children are now regularly vaccinated for this condition. Vaccination is recommended to prevent possible complications related to chicken pox. Complications may include:
- Bacterial infections (sepsis) of the skin, bones, joints or blood
- Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
- Toxic shock syndrome (serious complication due to a bacterial infection)
Contrary to popular belief, you can develop chicken pox again – even after you’ve had the illness. In most cases, subsequent cases are fairly mild.
Being in close proximity to someone with the chicken pox virus puts your child at risk of contracting the infection. This is because the virus is spread through direct contact with the rash, as well as by droplets in the air from a person with chicken pox who coughs or sneezes.
In general, symptoms appear about 10 or 21 days after a child is exposed to the virus. Chicken pox symptoms generally last roughly 5 to 10 days. Signs and symptoms of chicken pox include:
- Blisters on the skin, later turning to scabs
- Decreased appetite
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)