Varicella (chickenpox)

Varicella-zoster virus. Credit: NIAID

Varicella is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which also causes shingles (herpes zoster). The virus typically affects children aged 2‒8 years. 

Varicella may begin with cold-like symptoms, followed by a high temperature and a very itchy, blister-like rash. Clusters of spots appear over 3–5 days, mostly on the trunk of the body with some on the limbs. Symptoms vary in severity from person to person. It is possible to have varicella and have no symptoms. 

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