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Varicella (Chickenpox)

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Varicella (Chickenpox) is a virus that affects mostly children, spreads easily and is very contagious. People of all ages who get chickenpox can get very sick, especially those with a weakened immune system. A fever, headache, loss of appetite, and feeling unwell start 2 to 3 weeks after contact with an infected person. These symptoms last about a week and are followed by a blister-like rash on all areas of the body. Complications such as infections of the lungs, skin or brain can happen. After recovery, the virus remains in the body and can cause a painful illness called shingles later in life.

The virus spreads through the air (when in the same room as someone with chickenpox) or by touching the rash. It can spread from 2 days before the rash starts and until all of the blisters have scabbed. A pregnant woman with chickenpox can pass it on to her baby. If you or your children have not been fully vaccinated and have never had chickenpox, you don’t have protection against the virus and are at risk of getting and spreading chickenpox.

Source: Health Canada