chickenpox childTakes 2 Shots to Beat Chickenpox!

N. GA Health District - Chickenpox is highly contagious and the majority of confirmed cases are in children who are not vaccinated. Chickenpox and shingles are both caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adults and people with weakened immune systems.

 

The best way to protect against chickenpox is to get the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, and the CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults. Children should receive the first dose at 12 through 15 months old and a second dose during ages 4 to 6.

 

The North Georgia Health District and County Health Department officials urge that if anyone or their children have not yet received the recommended doses of chickenpox vaccine, contact the local county health department (contact information is accessible by clicking the above LOCATIONS tab) or call a private healthcare provider.

 

Chickenpox spreads easily from infected people to others who have never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine. Chickenpox spreads in the air through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters.

 

Just as with other vaccine preventable diseases, the best prevention of chickenpox is vaccination, and even though some people who have been vaccinated against chickenpox can still get the disease, their symptoms are usually milder with fewer blisters and with low or no fever. Before the vaccine, chickenpox was very common in the United States. About 4 million people would get chickenpox every year with over 10,000 hospitalizations and 100 to 150 deaths.

 

Two doses of vaccine are about 90% effective at preventing chickenpox. When vaccinated, people protect themselves and others in their communities. This is especially important for people who cannot get vaccinated, such as those with weakened immune systems or pregnant women.

 

Chickenpox most commonly causes an illness that lasts about 5-7 days. The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the face, chest, and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs. Other symptoms that may appear a day or two earlier are fever, tiredness, loss of appetite and headache. Children may miss 5 to 6 days of school or childcare due to chickenpox.

 

Find more information about chickenpox from the CDC at www.cdc.gov/chickenpox.

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