Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a family of herpes viruses responsible for causing shingles in adults. Chickenpox, also known as china or crystal plague, is a reasonably contagious condition that usually affects almost everyone during their first ten years. In general, the disease spreads during the first two days before the appearance of the blisters, and the contagion occurs mainly by touching the fluid of the welts or by being in contact with drops from the sneeze or the mouth of a person infected.
The main symptom of chickenpox is the appearance of between 200 and 500 blisters on most of the body, but they are most common on the face, abdomen, and scalp. These red bumps are intensely itchy and turn gray over time until they become scabbed over. Nowadays, and thanks to the chickenpox vaccine, this disease is less frequent. However, there is a widespread belief that this infection can recur in the body, so many people wonder: can you have chickenpox twice? In this FastlyHealarticle, you can find out the answer.
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Can you get chickenpox twice?
The varicella-zoster virus is responsible for causing two types of diseases in the body: chickenpox and herpes zoster, better known as shingles. To answer whether there may be a second outbreak of chickenpox, it is necessary to explain the mechanism of action of this agent in the human body.
The varicella-zoster virus, once it enters the body, has the property of persisting in it, even after having caused the primary infection (chickenpox); that is, after an individual recovers from chickenpox, the virus is not eliminated from the body, but remains asleep. Therefore, with time, especially in adulthood and due to a depression of the immune system, this virus may be activated again. Still, in this case, it will not cause the second chickenpox but will affect the person’s health, infecting it with herpes zoster or shingles.
The belief that a person can get chickenpox twice arises from real but rare cases in which an individual has presented symptoms and manifestations of the second chickenpox in adulthood. At present, there is no clinical explanation for these cases, it is believed that it may be a failure in the immune response of specific organisms, for this reason, and taking into account that the repetition of the disease occurs to 1 person in 1 million, Medical specialists and health organizations have established that chickenpox does not recur.
However, a person who had chickenpox as a child and was never vaccinated against the virus has a greater chance that the varicella-zoster virus will become active and trigger shingles in adulthood. Statistics say that 1 in 10 adults will suffer from shingles when the virus is reactivated during stress.
What is herpes zoster or shingles?
Shingles is the second infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. After falling asleep in the body of a person who had chickenpox, this agent is activated due to a poor immune response of the body and causes shingles, a condition that is more common in adults over 50 years of age.
Shingles, unlike chickenpox, is not contagious disease. However, the rash that causes shingles can transmit the virus, which is why a person with shingles can infect a child with chickenpox. Therefore, anyone who has not had chickenpox should stay away and avoid all kinds of direct contact with the affected SkinSkin of a person with shingles. Likewise, children who had chickenpox when less than one year old are at higher risk for this condition.
Among the main symptoms of shingles, the following stand out:
- Acute abdominal pain.
- Fever and chills
- Joint pain.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes.
- The rash usually appears on one side of the body or the face.
- The blisters appear 14 days after the discomfort begins.
- When shingles appear on the front, sight and hearing can be affected.
- The pain can remain for years after the blisters have healed.
Shingle is a disease with no cure, so receiving treatment when the shingle is in its early stages helps prevent symptoms from getting worse. A vaccine can help prevent this disease, and doctors recommend it for people over five years. Doctors generally prescribe antiviral medications to help decrease pain, prevent complications, and improve the course of the disease. Finally, shingles usually disappear after three weeks.
You can expand this information by consulting the article Herpes zoster: symptoms and treatment.
An excellent option! Vaccines are a kind of medicine that stimulate the immune system to make protective proteins called antibodies. These proteins have the power to protect a person’s body from microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria for a long time to prevent certain diseases or infections from occurring.
Today, chickenpox is an increasingly rare disease thanks to the development of the chickenpox vaccine. It is recommended to give this vaccine to all children in good health after reaching the first year. This defense mechanism against chickenpox is also valid for adolescents and adults. Children vaccinated against chickenpox who develop a very mild version of the disease recover much faster and have fewer than 30 blisters. However, because they are carriers of the virus, they can infect other people like those who have not received the vaccine.
The chickenpox vaccine is only indicated for children and people who have not had the infection. This vaccine is beneficial in the case of women who plan to get pregnant and who have not suffered chickenpox since it reduces their risk of contracting this disease during the gestation period. Remember that chickenpox is a disease capable of causing essential complications in the correct development of the fetus.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.