The disease caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, it's know as Chicken pox is contagious. Although predominantly a childhood disease, chicken pox can occur at any age. It is characterized by skin eruptions, which are initially raised lumps, and then within forty-eight hours, form into pustules and later shrivel to form very itchy crusts.
Other symptoms associated with the infection include a rash, fever, vomiting and back pain. The only treatment usually required is calamine lotion for the itching and paracetomol for the fever. Dangerous complications of chicken pox are extremely rare, although children taking steroids or suffering from leukemia are at increased risk and would need additional treatment.
Once an attack by the Varicella virus occurs the sufferer acquires lifelong immunity from chicken pox. However, the virus may lay dormant within the nervous system and manifest itself later in adult life as shingles or herpes zoster.
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