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By George H Swingler


Chickenpox is caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus. In healthy people, it is usually a mild, self-limiting illness, characterised by low-grade fever, malaise, and a generalised, itchy, vesicular rash. Chickenpox is very contagious — in the UK, USA and Japan, over 80% of people have been infected by the age of 10 years.The most common complications are bacterial skin sepsis in children under 5, acute cerebellar ataxia in older children, and varicella pneumonia in adults (which causes 20-30 hospital admissions per 10 000 adults)

Topics: Infectious Diseases
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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