What is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a common, highly contagious viral infection, which usually affects young children. Although it can be a serious and sometimes fatal illness, death from chickenpox is rare. It is characterized by the development of red, itchy blisters on the skin, and is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

Symptoms of Chickenpox

The most common chickenpox symptoms include:

  • A mild fever
  • Aching and tiredness
  • Itchy spots, which turn into fluid-filled blisters
  • Redness and swelling around the blisters
  • Muscle pain or discomfort
  • Headache

Complications of Chickenpox

In some cases, a person infected with chickenpox can develop more serious complications, such as pneumonia, brain inflammation, or sepsis. People at higher risk of more serious complications are:

  • Newborns
  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly people over 60
  • People with weakened immune systems

Treatment for Chickenpox

Chickenpox will usually resolve itself without treatment. However, there are medications such as antivirals, steroids, and painkillers that can help ease symptoms and reduce the severity. In addition, topical creams can be used to reduce itching and discomfort.