Monday, January 21, 2013

Chickenpox is a viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body. Dr. Edward Hill discusses chickenpox in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Chickenpox is a common and very contagious illness caused by a type of herpes virus. It is most common in children and is usually not serious. In teenagers, adults, pregnant women and people who have impaired immune systems, the virus can be more serious. These people are more likely to have a severe case and to develop complications from the infection.

Once a person has had chickenpox, he or she has immunity and will not have the infection again. The chickenpox virus does, however, stay in a person's body in an inactive state. Later in life, the virus may become active again and cause herpes zoster, or shingles.

Chickenpox symptoms include fever, aches and the development of a widely scattered, itching rash with fluid-filled blisters. The blisters burst and crust over after several days. New blisters continue to develop for up to a week.

Treatment for chickenpox focuses on preventing the person from scratching the rash and on relieving fever and discomfort.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.