All you need to know about chickenpox

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Find out some useful facts and information about chickenpox...

We’ve all heard about and perhaps experienced the childhood disease chickenpox.

Even though you may have got this illness as a child, it’s when you have your own kids that you start worrying about an illness such as chickenpox and what effects it may have on your child.

With this in mind, we bring you information on what you need to know about this common disease.


 Did you know? 8 facts about chickenpox

  1. Chickenpox commonly causes an illness that lasts about 5-10 days.1
  2. A person with chickenpox can have 250 to 500 blisters.1
  3. An infected person can be contagious as early as from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears.2
  4. Possible complications include skin infection, pneumonia and brain damage.2
  5. In Singapore, nearly 2/3 of pre-school children, 39.5% of primary school and 29% of adolescents (13-17 years old) are susceptible to varicella (chickenpox) infection.3
  6. Chickenpox scars can be found most often on the abdomen, face and back.4
  7. Anti-viral prescription medications for chickenpox are usually most effective when taken within the first 24 hours of illness.2
  8. Chickenpox can be prevented through vaccination.2

What is chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a disease caused by a herpes virus called Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV).1 Anyone can get chickenpox. However, it is more common in children.2

Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems.1

Chickenpox can also give rise to more severe problems in pregnant women.2 If a pregnant woman gets chickenpox it may result in stillbirths or birth defects, and the disease can spread to their babies during childbirth.2

Symptoms of chickenpox


Typical symptoms that may appear 1 to 2 days before the rash include high fever, tiredness, headache and loss of appetite.1

The classic chickenpox symptom is a rash that turns into itchy blisters.1 This rash/spots may leave scars when scratched.2

The rash may start on the face, chest, and back.It can then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids or genital area.1 It usually takes about 1 week for all the blisters to become scabs.1

Find out more about chickenpox on the next page…