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Chicken pox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is a highly contagious disease and can be spread in a similar way to colds and flu. It is characterized by:

  • Body malaise
  • Fever
  • Body pains or aching muscles
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Rashes (may be just a few spots to rashes that cover the entire body)
  • Small, read, itchy spots with blisters on the top

Scratching the spots is highly discouraged. To prevent scratching in children, you can do the following:

  • Fingernails should be clean and short
  • Children can wear mittens or socks when they go to sleep
  • Calamine lotion can be applied to reduce itching
  • Have the child wear loose clothing

There is no cure for chicken pox, but a vaccine is available to prevent it. Medication or advise to reduce the symptoms and discomfort may be prescribed by your doctor. It is also very important to have the patient drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Most people recover in a week or two. Chicken pox is generally non threatening, but visit your local ModernMD if any of the following occurs, visit the nearest ModernMD clinic in your area:

  • You need confirmation of chicken pox
  • Your child has difficulty breathing
  • The skin around the spots is painful and red

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