All A to Z Topics

Herpes zoster virus

Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point.
Symptoms of chickenpox
The most commonly recognised chickenpox symptom is a red rash that can cover the entire body. You or your child may also have some mild flu-like symptoms.
Causes of chickenpox
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. You catch it by coming into contact with someone who is infected with the virus.
Diagnosing chickenpox
Tests are not usually needed to diagnose chickenpox because the symptoms of a mild fever followed by a rash, blisters and scabs are a strong indicator.
Treating chickenpox
There is no cure for the virus that causes chickenpox but it usually clears up by itself without treatment. However, you can take steps to ease the symptoms.
Complications of chickenpox
Complications of chickenpox are rare in healthy children. The most common complication is where the blisters become infected with bacteria.
Preventing the spread of chickenpox
Keep your child at home if they have chickenpox and are infectious (until the last blister has crusted over). This usually takes 5-6 days after the rash begins.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Chickenpox treatment and what the next steps might be.