Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox is a very contagious viral infection which usually lasts 5-7 days.  The incubation period is 10-21 days from time of contact with a contagious person.  Chickenpox is characterized by a rash of itchy, red bumps that develop into a clear then yellow-colored water blister. These blisters eventually scab over.  Chickenpox is contagious from the day before the lesions break out until they are all scabbed over.   Once all the blisters have crusted over, the child can go back to school.  If you or your child has had chickenpox before, it is extremely unlikely that he/she will get it again.  If your child has had the initial vaccine, their chance of getting Chickenpox is about 10% and the case is usually much milder.  If your child has had the booster the chance of getting the Chickenpox is about 1-2%.

Since there is no cure for most viral infections, the disease must run its course.  However, there are treatments that can be done to make your child more comfortable.  The best treatment for itching is Benadryl plus a cool bath every few hour for the first few days.  Fever and aches can be treated with Tylenol, (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen) but avoid aspirin because of its association with Reye’s syndrome following Chickenpox.

Call office…
If you think your child has Chickenpox.