Q:

What is chicken pox?

A:

Quick Answer

Chickenpox is a contagious disease that develops when an individual contracts the varicella-zoster virus. The first symptoms appear approximately two weeks after infection and include fever, headaches, cough and an itchy, blister-like skin rash, explains WebMD.

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What is chicken pox?
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Full Answer

The infection generally lasts for up to 10 days, during which the initial itchy, red bumps turn into fluid-filled blisters and finally form crusts and scabs, notes Mayo Clinic.

The most effective method of preventing chickenpox is immunization, which is especially recommended for people with low immunity. The disease may still occur in vaccinated individuals, but in a significantly milder form. Chickenpox treatment involves using calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths to reduce itching and irritation, over-the-counter medication for fever, and prescription antivirals for more severe cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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