(or chicken pox) is an acute infectious disease. Chicken pox is given by airborne droplets (during conversation, coughing, sneezing). It is also considered possible to transfer chickenpox to the fetus from the mother during pregnancy. In this case, it is possible to have a child with certain pathologies. The usual manifestations of chicken pox are a rash and a febrile condition of the patient (usually a person stays in this state for two to five days).

Before the appearance of specific signs of the disease, there may be a prodromal period, that is, there are signs-precursors of chicken pox (headache, back pain, weakness, etc. The incubation period of the disease can last up to 23 days, but most often it varies from 13 to 17 days In most cases, the outcome of chickenpox is favorable.


Only people can get sick with smallpox, and only they can be carriers of the virus.Most chicken pox is affected by children. In Russia, the vaccination against chicken pox is not included in the mandatory preventive vaccination schedule (however in some countries, in particular, in the USA and Japan, a mandatory vaccine has been introduced from this disease.)

Varicella is an infectious disease.

The virus-causative agent belongs to the Herpesviridae family – herpes viruses (in this case it is varicella-zoster), this virus can cause only two diseases: the first is chicken pox. The second – shingles (or herpes zoster), is found mainly in people of mature age. The virus that causes chickenpox is pathogenic only if it is a person. In the environment, the varicella-zoster virus perishes in just a few hours (even minutes), that is, it is unstable in the environment. The source of infection is a sick person. Ill with chicken pox presents an epidemic danger for others for a fairly long period. It begins at the end of the epidemic period (from the last two days) and lasts until the crust falls off. Susceptibility to this disease can be called unique, since it is equal to 100%. In a generalized form, the penetration of the virus into the human body and the onset of the development of chicken pox occur according to the following scheme. The virus enters the human body through the upper respiratory tract. Then it is introduced into the epithelial cells of the mucosa. The next “step” is fixation in the skin where the virus enters with the blood flow. Penetrating into the human skin, the virus in its surface layer causes a pathological process. The latter leads to the expansion of capillaries – there is a stain, serous edema – a papule and, finally, to the peeling of the epidermis – this is a vesicle. The causative agent of chicken pox is able to persist in the body. Under the influence of certain factors (in this case provoking), this causative agent is activated and can cause local skin rashes. Shingles develop.

You can catch chickenpox from touch – through dishes or clothes.

Actually, this is not true. Otherwise, any doctor who examines a sick child would become an infection carrier, at the risk of infecting uninfected children. To get sick with chickenpox, you need to breathe in parts of the causative agent of the disease, this way is usually called airborne. Therefore, one should beware of coughing or sneezing of a sick kid. Especially critical is the period 2-3 days before the onset of the rash and 5-7 days after the disappearance of the last vesicle. It is not surprising that in the kindergarten, with the illness of one of the children, the rest immediately fall ill. When a baby breathes in a virus, it through the nose gets into the blood, which carries it throughout the body. The causative agent finds its refuge as a result in the skin and all the same mucous. In these places, he begins active reproduction, and the immune system, in the fight against the enemy, kills those cells that are affected.As a result of such a battle with the herpes virus on the skin, small bubbles form.

Chicken pox is a child’s disease.

Indeed, chickenpox is mainly affected by children. As you know, if a person has suffered varicella, then he is immune from this disease for the rest of his life (in most cases this is so). And since at the age of six months and up to seven years many chicken pox are ill, adults who are sick with chickenpox are rare. However, this fact is also not something phenomenal. The adult can get chickenpox the second time, if his immunity is greatly weakened, and very often the repeated course of the disease is more severe.

Varicella is widespread among the population.

This disease is spread all over the world. However, the incidence of infection varies depending on climatic conditions – for example, in countries with a temperate climate, the incidence of chickenpox incidence occurs during the winter and early spring. And in countries where the tropical climate is dominant, the incidence of chickenpox is extremely low. The prevalence of varicella is associated with the susceptibility of people to this disease (which is equal to 100%). Therefore, any person with chickenpox can contribute to the outbreak of this infectious disease – it is almost impossible to stop it. Therefore it is not surprising that almost all people on the planet get chickenpox (after which they develop a permanent immunity to this disease).

A rash is a characteristic feature of chicken pox.

This disease begins with a sudden increase in temperature. In this case, a rash appears on various parts of the body. At first it is represented by small pink spots. Their value is not more than four millimeters. These spots in a couple of hours become bubbles (vesicles), the contents of which are transparent. After the vesicles burst (and this is an inevitable process), dark crusts remain in their place, remaining on the skin for two to three weeks. The rash is characterized by polymorphism, that is, in each individual area of ​​the skin there may be spots, and bubbles, and crusts. On the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, as a result of chicken pox, enanthems are formed, which are vesicles. On the site of such eruptions erosions and sores appear, into which these bubbles can quickly turn. The sores have a yellowish-gray bottom, which is bordered by a red rim. If the rash occurs on the cornea, then the likelihood of developing keratitis is very high. If the rash affects the mucous membrane of the larynx, then laryngitis is almost inevitable.

Fever is another characteristic of chicken pox.

The duration of this condition varies from two to five days. Sometimes there are severe forms of chicken pox and its complications. It can be encephalitis, pneumonia, myocarditis, etc. The febrile period usually varies from two to five days, but sometimes lasts up to ten days. Duration is associated with the abundance of rashes.

The rash of chickenpox causes itching.

Itching may occur in rashes, but it does not always appear. Itching is fraught with the following danger: children can comb the places of rashes, thereby the bubbles are destroyed. Due to the last wound (formed on the site of the former vesicles) can be infected with microbes.


Varicella has no specific treatment.

There are only recommendations that (in any case, as far as possible) must be observed. Recommendations include bed rest (which must be observed at least during the febrile period), lubrication of the elements of the rash either 1% solution of brilliant green, or 5% solution of potassium permanganate. It is necessary to monitor the cleanliness of hands and linen. Medicine advises the use of drugs from vegetable raw materials with chicken pox.These include the flacoside (obtained from the leaves of velvet), alpisarin (obtained from the herbs of the icicle and the alpine penny), gossypol (obtained from the processing of roots or the seed of cotton, helepine (which is an extract from the aerial part of the lespecked penny) .If there is an itch, then antihistamines are prescribed.The patient should avoid overheating.If the overheating of the itching increases, antibiotics are prescribed only with purulent complications of chicken pox, in other cases there is no sense in their admission. in particular, abscesses.Preventing chickenpox primarily involves isolating the patient at home.Those children who were in direct contact with patients with this disease, it is necessary to separate for a period of eleventh to twenty-first days from the time of contact.

The presence of a prodromal period is characteristic of chicken pox.

The prodromal period (as a rule, it is characteristic for infectious diseases) is the stage of harbingers of a disease (in this case chicken pox ). This period is characterized by the appearance of nonspecific signs for the disease. It can be weakness, headaches, decreased appetite and much more. The prodromal period of chickenpox begins one to two days before the appearance of disease-specific symptoms (rash, febrile condition). However, there are cases when the prodromal period of varicella is not manifested. In this case, the disease begins as usual – with the appearance on the body of the rash. Often prodromal signs are not expressed in children, in adults they are more common. Prodromal period in adults is heavier and can be presented by headache, back pain.

Chicken pox is a non-dangerous disease.

Indeed, chicken pox can not be attributed to serious diseases of an infectious nature. However, chicken pox can give dangerous complications, such as inflammation of the brain or pneumonia. And if the bubbles turn out to be infected with microbes the second time, then the scars can remain on the body. Secondary infection can lead to sepsis.

There are severe forms of chicken pox.

These include hemorrhagic, bullous, gangrenous. The hemorrhagic form of chicken pox can occur in patients who have manifestations of hemorrhagic diathesis (ie, a tendency to bleeding). In accordance with this, for the hemorrhagic form of the disease is characterized by the presence of vesicles with bloody contents. Nasal bleeding, hemorrhages on the skin and other manifestations can also occur. Bullous form of chicken pox can occur in adults who are ill with other serious diseases. In this case, the skin can appear quite large flabby bubbles. Poorly healing ulcers in place of blisters – also a phenomenon for the bullous form of the disease is not rare. Gangrenous form of chickenpox develops in patients with weakened immunity. This form of the disease is often characterized by a rapid increase in size. There is a hemorrhagic transformation of the contents of the vesicles. After their drying crusts are formed. The color of the crusts in this case is black, they have an inflammatory rim.

Vaccination against chicken pox is necessary.

Even if the relatively high cost of vaccination is taken into account, it pays off quite well. It is enough to consider the following statistics. Before the vaccination of the population from chicken pox was introduced in the United States, the following data occurred. Annually, about four million cases of chickenpox were recorded. 10,000 patients were required to be hospitalized. About a hundred children died. In general, chickenpox, of course, is not considered a serious public health problem. But because of the contagiousness of chicken pox is expensive to the budget. In addition, costs should include therapy of herpes zoster. Therefore, even economically vaccination is advisable.However, in Russia, varicella vaccination is not included in the calendar of vaccinations required.

It is much better to have chicken pox in childhood.

It is in childhood that the disease is transferred much easier, the course of chickenpox passes without complications. Some doctors even conclude that each person should suffer from chickenpox before 10 years. But to get sick with chicken pox in adulthood (and even more so when pregnant) is fraught with a serious course and complications.

Chicken pox is most dangerous for pregnant women.

Many doctors speak out against chicken pox vaccination for children. But many of them agree on the need to vaccinate varicella for women who plan on chickenpox (if they do not have permanent immunity to it). The importance of the appropriate vaccination is greatly increased if the future mother has older children who regularly visit children’s institutions. It is necessary to vaccinate in the case (for objective reasons) if the future mother works in a children’s polyclinic, school or kindergarten. It should be understood that vaccination against varicella should be done some time before pregnancy (preferably 2-3 months). The need for early vaccination is due to the fact that the process of developing immunity to the disease takes a fairly long period of time.

Vaccination against varicella has a number of contraindications.

The vaccine can not be given to people who have previously seen reactions to the components of this vaccine. It is not recommended to vaccinate chickenpox with pregnant women, as vaccination can be dangerous to the fetus. It is not recommended to vaccinate people who have immune system disorders. Vaccination against varicella is used not only for the prevention of this disease, but also for its urgent prevention. In this case, if a person has been vaccinated no later than three days after contact with an infected person, in most cases infection can be prevented.


Chicken pox is known since antiquity.

For the first time this disease was described in the middle of the sixteenth century by the Italian physician Vidious. In 1772 a specific name for varicella was introduced. The essence of this event is that since this year chicken pox has been distinguished from smallpox. However, despite these facts, as well as the fact that the infectious nature of chickenpox was scientifically confirmed in 1875, the causative agent of this disease became known to science only in 1958.

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