The chicken pox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which is related to the herpes family. It is extremely common among children, but can also occur in adults as well.
It usually takes about 10 to 21 days before the first signs of chicken pox to appear in someone after contact with another person that is suffering from this contagious virus (also known as the incubation period).
What are the first signs of chicken pox?
The first signs of chicken pox include symptoms such as tiredness, low-grade fever, and a loss of appetite. These are usually the earliest signs of the disease that occurs, which about 1-2 days later is next followed by a rash or red spots. However, the first signs of chicken pox do not always occur before the rash developments.
When the rash appears, it most often appears on the face, scalp and trunk first. Then it is usually followed by about 50-500 blisters that consume the entire body. Although many of these factors are determined by age (for instance, adults get it much worse than children), as well as how your immune system is functioning.
There are over 26 potential symptoms, here's some just to name a few:
- High fever
- Severe itchiness
- Red spots / blisters all over body
- Worsening of asthma
- Fatigue / low energy
- Abdominal pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Mood swings
About 1 in 10 children who first have the first signs of chicken pox will have a complication and will have to go to the hospital. Many cases can lead to serious infection, so please be sure to not leave this disease untreated. There are over 4,000 to 6,000 people who end up in the hospital each year in the United States due to this disease.
The best thing to do is make sure that your child or whomever is suffering from this disease is getting the proper care. A good start is lots of rest, drinking fluids, and staying away from other people as this illness is highly contagious and it's easy to pass it on.
If you have had any vaccination, then you are still not completely immune from the disease. The varicella zoster virus vaccination is only about 80-90% effective. However, if you do get this disease and have had the infection, then it usually will be more mild. But still, take precaution and take the necessary steps to get your health (or your child's health) back in order.