Chickenpox, also known as Varicella, is a highly infectious viral disease to people who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it. Most children in the UK have the disease before the age of 10. After a Chickenpox infection the virus stays dormant in the body and may reactivate at a later date, causing Shingles.
The illness usually starts with fever and tiredness, followed by the development of an itchy rash of raised red spots that turn into fluid filled blisters. The spots generally start on the face and scalp before spreading quickly over the rest of the body.
1. Who gets it?
- Mostly affects children
- Adults are at risk too
- Unusual to have Chickenpox more than once
2. How do you catch it? It’s easy to catch it…
- Contact with the fluid from the blisters, or droplets spread through coughing and sneezing.
3. Vaccination options
The Chickenpox vaccine is a safe, effective way to prevent Chickenpox and its possible complications. The vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies that will help protect against Chickenpox.
- Number of doses? 2, usually given 4-8 weeks apart.
- Booster doses? Once you have completed the two-dose course, you won’t need further booster doses.
- Age restrictions? Suitable for patients from the age of one up to the age of 65. It is only recommended if you have not had Chickenpox.