Chickenpox is a highly contagious childhood infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. The condition causes a very itchy, blistery rash and usually a fever. The chickenpox virus spreads through the air, such as when an infected person sneezes or coughs, and by direct contact. Chickenpox once was very common, but the number of those infected has significantly dropped since the development of a vaccine to prevent the infection. Being exposed to the chickenpox virus also raises your risk for a painful condition called shingles later in life. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how chickenpox is contracted, what it looks like, how to treat it, and much more.
Some people are at higher risk for shingles and postherpetic neuralgia than others. But used right, available treatments can prevent postherpetic neuralgia, or at least stop it from becoming a permanent, painful companion.
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