A to Z: Varicella (Chickenpox)enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgLearn about viral infections, contagious diseases, and diseases that cause skin rashes.Varicella, chickenpox, varicella-zoster virus, VZV, shingles, viral infections, fever, skin rash, headache, sore throat, stomachache, chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, herpes zoster, contagious diseases08/14/201304/12/201909/02/201974cd4b65-bd8f-4e95-978b-6271cb5ba4a5https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-varicella.html/<p>Varicella (vair-ih-SELL-uh), commonly known as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/chicken-pox.html/">chickenpox</a>, is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Infection with VZV causes <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/flu.html/">flu</a>-like symptoms and an itchy rash of red spots, which blister and eventually scab over.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>VZV spreads both through the air (by coughing and sneezing) and by direct contact with mucus, saliva, or fluid from the blisters. Chickenpox often starts with a fever, headache, sore throat, or stomachache. These symptoms may last for a few days. The red, itchy skin rash follows, usually appearing first on the abdomen or back and face, then spreading to almost everywhere else on the body, including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs, and genitals.</p> <p>Chickenpox used to be a common illness among kids in the United States, but a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/varicella-vaccine.html/">vaccine</a> introduced in 1995 has greatly reduced the number of cases. The vaccine prevents the disease in the majority of kids who receive it. Kids who were vaccinated but still get chickenpox tend to develop very mild cases and recover quickly.</p> <p>Treatment for chickenpox is mainly focused on&nbsp;relieving itching, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fever.html/">fever</a>, and discomfort, but medications may be used to treat severe cases.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>Chickenpox is usually mild, but it can lead to serious complications, especially in older children, adults, and pregnant women. For this reason, anyone with the disease should avoid contact with others until all the blisters have crusted over.</p> <p>Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing a condition called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shingles.html/">shingles</a> (herpes zoster) later in life. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence in kids and teens with healthy immune systems. It's also uncommon for someone who's been vaccinated against chickenpox to develop shingles later in life.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
ChickenpoxChickenpox used to be common in kids, causing a very itchy red rash all over the body. But the good news is that a vaccine can prevent most cases.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/chicken-pox.html/34caabeb-2cf0-41e8-b236-d3714ba46d03
First Aid: ChickenpoxChickenpox (varicella) has become less common in the U.S. due to the chickenpox vaccine, but it can easily spread from one person to another.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/chickenpox-sheet.html/7d246c0b-b7ec-4c05-a60a-eb9bddf2016f
Immunization ScheduleWhich vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/immunization-chart.html/ffd3d367-78ea-4bb9-852d-c02db5722b6b
ShinglesShingles isn't very common in kids - it mostly affects older people. Find out what causes shingles, symptoms to watch for, and what to do if your child has it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shingles.html/029a000a-c0c2-4975-a3c0-c63bb70ca164
What Makes Chickenpox Itch?Chickenpox can make you itch like crazy. Find out why in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/chicken-pox-itch.html/e0b1d155-d154-4f15-b818-6fdc807985d6
Your Child's Immunizations: Chickenpox VaccineFind out when and why your child needs to get this vaccine.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/varicella-vaccine.html/8200f404-f5dc-4c95-9085-c18cf924297d