What is it?

Varicella or chickenpox is a contagious illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus

Historically, chickenpox has been a childhood disease that most people would catch before age 14 but you can get chickenpox at any age

If you’ve had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the roots of your nerve cells and can reappear as shingles, a painful skin rash

What are the symptoms?

Initially, fever, tiredness, headache and muscle and joint pain

One or 2 days later an itchy, bumpy, red rash appears

After a day or 2 the rash turns to blisters which become cloudy and then break and form scabs

The scabs disappear within 2 weeks

The chickenpox rash is usually harmless and goes away on its own

How can I contract chicken pox?

You can become infected when someone who is infectious coughs or sneezes into the air and you breathe in the droplets

Or if you have direct contact with the blisters or saliva of a person who is infected with chickenpox or shingles

Where can I get it?

You can get chickenpox anywhere in the world, particularly in densely populated urban settings

What vaccines are available?

The chickenpox vaccine

In Canada, the vaccine is part of the recommended childhood immunization schedule

It is 85-95% effective

Will I need a booster?

No

How can I prevent it?

Avoid contact with anyone infected with chickenpox until all the blisters have dried and scabs have formed

What is the treatment for Yellow Fever?

Drink lots of liquids such as water, juice and soup especially if there is a fever

Keep your fingernails short and clean, as bacteria found under fingernails can infect open skin lesions

Keep the skin cool to relieve itching

Apply cool-water compresses, dress lightly, have lukewarm baths and showers

Keep the infected person away from other people who have not had chickenpox

Use hot water and strong detergent to wash clothing and other items that have been soiled with fluid from chickenpox blisters

Ask TMVC about creams or ointments that can reduce the itching

 

"The Burnaby location has very nice staff that makes your less than fun stay much better (who likes being stuck by one or more needles). They give vaccinations for basically anything that you could need wile out travelling the world. "
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