What Causes Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease, caused by a virus which belongs to the herpes family. This virus is known as varicella-zoster virus and also as the Herpes Zoster virus. Not only chickenpox is produced by it but shingles is too.

Chickenpox occurs mostly during the end of the winter and the beginning of the spring. It generally affects children aged from 2 to 8 and can take the form of epidemics.

If an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus will be spread in the air and will be caught by other healthy persons while breathing. The virus is known to be present in the body long before the skin rash appears; this is the reason why there are so many cases of contamination.

After the virus got into your body it generally needs two weeks to develop and only then the rash will appear. But this does not mean that you are not contagious within these two weeks.

The symptoms of chickenpox are: fever, itchy, red bumps that transform into round blisters with a red base. These blisters will form a crust and will eventually dry. For at least 5 days the infected person should not get into close contact with people that have not suffered from chickenpox and children should not go to school because they can infect others. Pregnant women who have made chickenpox before are safe and so is their baby. If she has not made chickenpox and got in contact with an infected person, the doctor can administer antibodies of chickenpox within 4 days of a possible contamination. After the dry scabs form the rate of contamination will decrease.

After the disease had terminated the virus will not disappear completely, it will shed inside the nervous cells and will remain inactive for some years. At some point, when the immune system will work improperly the virus will reactivate and will cause shingles. This is a painful disease that affects the face and trunk nerves and also causes a rash to appear.

The chickenpox infected person will also be prohibited from flying because the air conditioner in airplanes will transmit the virus more easily to other passengers. The virus is dangerous for those who have AIDS, cancer or follow a treatment with immunosuppressive drugs. Only those who have a good immune system response and those who have been vaccinated against chickenpox will not develop the disease.