Chicken Pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
Contagiousness & Transmission
Chicken pox is easily spread from person to person by sneezing, coughing, sharing food/drinks, or touching the fluid of the blister. It is most contagious 2 to 3 days before the rash appears, and continues to be contagious until all of the blisters have healed.
The average duration of chicken pox is 14 days. It can range from 7 days to 21. Once chicken pox has infected someone once, it will not infect them again. However a more mild form, shingles, may appear later in life.
The virus begins with a fever, headache, and/or sore throat. The rash begins to show 1-2 days after. The rash develops as shown above in the time line. Other symptoms include lethargy and loss of appetite.
A doctor can examine the symptoms and determine whether the infection is chicken pox. No further tests and necessary.
Luckily, chicken pox can be prevented at a young age. Children 12 months or older can receive two vaccinations. However, if chicken pox is caught there are home remedies to treat it. Calamine lotion and colloidal oatmeal baths help relieve itching. Non-aspirin medicines relieve fever. For majority of cases, chicken pox is easily treatable, but in rare cases it has required hospitilzation or even caused death.