Varicella zoster Chicken Pox Infection

Like rubella, chicken pox is very infectious. As with the rubella virus, the Herpes zoster virus spreads when you inhale droplets of respiratory secretions exhaled by an infected person.

A non-immunized person may catch chicken pox by being in the same room with an infected person. Symptoms may not appear until ten days to three weeks after infection. The patient often has fever and lethargy, followed by an itchy rash of watery blisters. The blisters will burst after a week and form crusts before healing.

Chicken pox is uncommon in pregnancy. If it does occur in pregnancy, most women and baby suffer no serious effects. However, in 1-2 out of every 100 cases, the baby may be affected by skin blisters, scarring or even organ damage, especially in the first five months of pregnancy. These abnormalities may not be detected with ultrasound scans during pregnancy. They may only be diagnosed after the baby is delivered. Some pregnant women may also develop serious forms of infection in the chest or brain.

If the baby is born within seven days of the mother developing chicken pox, he/she may get a very severe form of the illness.

All it takes is a simple blood test to check if you are immune to the chicken pox virus. If you are not immune, get yourself vaccinated before you conceive.

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