Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It can cause an itchy, blister-like rash. The rash appears first on the chest, back, and face, and then spreads over the entire body. If one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Chickenpox can also be serious, even life-threatening, especially in babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
What to Look for:
The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the chest, back, and face, and then spread over the entire body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all of the blisters to become scabs.
Other typical symptoms that may begin to appear one to two days before rash include:
- loss of appetite
Chickenpox illness usually lasts about 4 to 7 days.