What is Chickenpox?


Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It is easily spread from an infected individual to those who have never contracted chickenpox or never received the Varicella vaccination.

Chickenpox can be easily transmitted from person-to-person through direct contact with the blisters, saliva or mucus of an infected person. It can also be spread through respiratory droplets produced from an infected person via coughing or sneezing. Once in contact, there is an incubation period can be up to 21 days before the signs and symptoms surface.

Who can Contract Chickenpox?


Infants and children under the age of 2 are at higher risk for chickenpox.

The likelihood of contracting chickenpox increases if you:

  • Have not contracted the virus before
  • Have not been vaccinated against chickenpox
  • Have been in contact with someone infected with chickenpox, shingles or herpes zoster

What Happens when My Child Gets Chickenpox?


Chickenpox causes blister-like rashes to spread all over the face and body, accompanied by itchiness, fatigue and fever. These symptoms can last up to 2 weeks. After several days, the blisters will start to eventually burst and leak fluid, then dry and scab over before finally healing. Young children can typically expect to miss 1-2 weeks of pre-school or school due to chickenpox. Chickenpox can be severe, especially in babies, young children and adults with a weakened immunity.

How do I Protect My Child from Chickenpox?


The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get a varicella vaccination. The vaccine can be administered in children any time after 12 months old, followed by a booster shot 2-3 months later.

Read other health topics related to infectious diseases in babies and young children:

A Singapore Medical Group Clinic

Incorporated in 2005, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) is a private specialist and primary healthcare provider with a network of more than 20 medical specialties. The Group is committed to its promise of providing patient centred medical care and experience to every individual. SMG has 35 clinics and a growing network of SMG Associates all across the island.

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