Chicken Pox Definition - What Is Chicken Pox?

What is chicken pox?

Chicken pox (varicella) is an infectious disease which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is one of the classic childhood diseases.


This disease is caused by infection with the virus, usually by aanhoesten or physical contact. The incubation period is 13 to 18 days (range 10 to 21 days). After a prodromal phase of what fever and cold-like symptoms that lasts a few days, first appear small red spots, which after about a day pass in small fluid-filled blisters on a red base, anywhere on the body, often the first time the neck. Typically the blisters on the scalp. The number can vary from less than ten to hundreds. After about a week, most blisters are gone. Sometimes rest a single shallow pit where previously a bump had become infected by a bacterium, for example due to open scratch. In order to minimize the risk of scarring as small as possible, should be avoided as much as possible scratching. In very severe itching may possibly be given an antihistamine. Menthol sprinkle talcum powder on the chicken pox should be avoided as this can give scarring. Today is also an increasing use made of cooling creams. Healing is also accelerated by applying drying remedies for smallpox. In a severe course is sometimes administered acyclovir.

 is an infectious disease which is caused by the varicella Chicken Pox Definition - What Is Chicken Pox?


The disease is very contagious; in a temperate climate makes almost everyone (over 95%) him for his twelfth birthday by. In the (sub) tropics this is only fifty percent. Although most people only get once the disease, it sometimes occurs again as secondary infection, mild or shingles. Dangerous is the only disease for people with poorly functioning immune system, for instance by swallowing medicines to prevent rejection of a kidney transplant.

Infection usually occurs through the respiratory tract. Babies who survive their first year of life chicken pox may have a mild case because they still carry their mother's antibodies. They then develop itself, however, a lower resistance to disease and can get it later, again generally not violent.

Parents often wonder whether their child has chicken pox. This is because not every child gets the same number of spots and smallpox. Especially in a child with (very) few smallpox, it is even for experts, such as the GP difficult to confirm that it has chicken pox.

Patients are a few days before the sores are visible already contagious. Vaccination is possible, but neither in the Netherlands nor in Belgium routinely done. In the Netherlands, to vote to enter into this vaccination, partly to reduce hoping shingles and its consequences in later life.

If a pregnant woman for the first time in her life gets chickenpox, she, like all adults get chicken pox, much sicker from the infection than young children affected by the infection. In addition, pregnant women appear to be at an increased risk of pneumonia as a result of the virus infection. When the pregnant chicken pox gets there is a probability of 8-12% and that infection occurs in the uterus. When infection occurs between the 13th and 20th week of pregnancy, there is a risk of congenital varicella syndrome (CVS). This syndrome can the unborn baby abnormalities occur in the arms and legs as well as abnormalities of the eyes, skin and nervous system. This syndrome is seen in 2% of the babies of pregnant women with proven chicken pox during this period of pregnancy. Another risk lies in when the chicken pox blisters 5 days before to 2 days appear after childbirth. then there is usually a neonatal infection.

The baby is then born with chicken pox, which entails a great danger for the child. The maternity ward of a hospital is a place where people with chicken pox do not belong. Also pediatric hospitals keep children with active chicken pox prefer to contamination of patients who also have been a different disease to avoid as much as possible. Furthermore, people with weakened immune systems (HIV, chemotherapy) - even if they have had the disease as a child all - better stay away from chicken pox sufferers.

The virus that causes chicken pox and shingles, belongs to the herpes family of viruses and is the cause of cold sores, the herpes simplex virus.

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