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Chickenpox - Information Center
:: What is chickenpox? ::

Chickenpox is a common disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is part of the herpes virus family. Varicella-zoster virus spreads in the air through coughs or sneezes or through contact with fluid from inside the chickenpox blisters.

Chickenpox, which occurs most often in the late winter and early spring, is very contagious - if exposed to an infected family member, about 80% to 90% of those in a household who haven't had chickenpox will get it. However, immunization of children with the chickenpox vaccine that's now available is expected to decrease cases of the disease dramatically over the next few years.
:: What are the symptoms of chickenpox? ::

  • An itchy rash that may start as bumps and change to blisters.
  • Fever.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Your kid is less active than usual.
:: How should I treat my kid with chickenpox? ::

  • Keep your child away from
  • Pregnant women who have not had chicken pox.
  • Small babies.
  • People with cancer.
  • People taking steroids (e.g., Prednisone).
Further Hints:
  • Never give aspirin.
  • Make sure your kid drinks plenty of fluids.
  • Keep kids fingernails short.
  • After taking a bath dry your kid off by patting with a towel (do not rub).
  • Apply calamine lotion to the rash.
  • Apply ice cubes directly to a really itchy area to give some relief.
:: When do I call a doctor? ::

  • The rash looks infected, is swollen or has yellow pus on it.
  • Your child is sleeping too much.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has blisters in his eyes.
  • Your child has an area of red and tender skin.
  • Your child has several episodes of vomiting.
  • The fever continues or returns after the 3rd-4th day.
  • Your child looks sick or you have questions or concerns.
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