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What is chicken pox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious childhood infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
 
The condition causes a very itchy, blistery rash and usually a fever. The chickenpox virus spreads through the air, such as when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be contracted through direct contact.
 
Chickenpox is most common in children under 10, although it can develop at any age. Outbreaks are most frequent in winter and spring, between March and May.
People who have had chickenpox almost always develop lifetime immunity (meaning you are extremely unlikely to get it again). However, the virus remains dormant in the body and it can reactivate later in life and cause shingles.
 
Find out more about the symptoms of chicken pox

More questions

Fever is often the first sign of an illness in children. When your child has a temperature it can be a worrying and stressful time.
Febrile convulsions are caused by a rapid increase in the body temperature of young children.
Norovirus is more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.
Common eye complaints for children and teens include myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
If a cut is too severe to treat at home then it is important to take your child to A&E or to your GP as stitches may be required. Go straight to the A&E if the cut is to an artery or if the bleeding will not stop.
The wound should heal itself in a few days. If the wound is painful, you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Croup, which is usually the result of a viral infection, causes the larynx and trachea to swell, resulting in a deep bark-like cough.
Tooth decay in babies and younger children is commonly referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. 
Cradle cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis) is a rash that starts as scaling and redness on a baby’s scalp.
Tonsillitis is a very painful condition that will cause a child to have several symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, refusal to eat, ear pain, fever, chills, enlarged glands, and a headache.

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