Chickenpox: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 4/29/2019

Chickenpox is a highly contagious illness. Although people generally recover from chickenpox, it can cause serious complications in some people. Chickenpox was a common childhood illness prior to the introduction of the vaccine against chickenpox.

Signs and symptoms of chickenpox include a rash that is extremely itchy. The rash has red spots that can turn into fluid-filled blisters that eventually form a crust. The rash usually begins on the head or trunk and then spreads to other areas of the body. Other associated signs and symptoms of chickenpox include fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, reduced appetite, and malaise.

Cause of chickenpox

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox and shingles. VZV belongs to the herpesvirus family of viruses and spreads by close contact with an infected person.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/29/2019

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