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Doctor insights on: Chicken Pox Recurrence In Adults

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Dr. James Ferguson
751 Doctors shared insights

Chickenpox (Definition)

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox results in a blister rash that starts on the stomach, back, and face and spreads throughout the entire body. These small itchy blisters eventually scab over. Associated symptoms include itching, fatigue, malaise, and a fever. The most effective method to prevent spreading of the varicella virus is ...Read more


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What causes chicken pox in adults?

What causes chicken pox in adults?

Varicella Virus: It is caused by infection with VaricellaChickenPox)virus in adults and children ...Read more

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Can you get chicken pox as a adult?

Can you get chicken pox as a adult?

Yes: Anyone can get chicken pox if they have never had it before and were not vaccinated against it. Also, immunosuppressed people may get it anyway. Theoretically it is possible to be infected by someone with shingles (herpes zoster). ...Read more

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Can adults catch chicken pox just like kids can?

Yes: If they never had them as a kid they can get them as an adult. Most (80%) who don't recall having them as a kid have blood test evidence that they did have them in the past. However, adult chickenpox is quite worrisome with some developing a fatal pneumonia and many quite sick with the illness. ...Read more

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What is the actual name of chicken pox in adults?

What is the actual name of chicken pox in adults?

Chicken pox: Still called chicken pox in adults.
A special type which affect only a portion of face (like right upper 1/4 of face) or body (like a linear form involving right chest/back) called shingles (herpes zoster). ...Read more

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How is chicken pox different in adults than children?

How is chicken pox different in adults than children?

Worse: Usually adults would ill seriously.
Another type of "chicken pox" in adults is called shingles (herpes zoster). ...Read more

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Why is chicken pox more harmful to adults than to kids?

Why is chicken pox more harmful to adults than to kids?

Get much sicker: Adults get sicker with high fever, more intense itching, and can get other infections such as pneumonia due to lowered immunity caused by the chicken pox. There's also greater risk of death, visible scarring, and shingles resulting from chicken pox in adults. It can also cause sterility in adult men. Adults immune system is stronger which is why they mount more of a response than kids. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are chicken pox dangerous as an adult?

Outcome variability: At it's peak, chickenpox was most common in preschool kids, with > 2 million cases/yr, 50 deaths & 10, 000 hospitalizations. With the adoption of the vaccine the kid problem has become less an issue & sporadic adult cases have gotten more attention. Adults are at higher risk of a fatal pneumonia for reasons that are unexplained. We see a similar increased morbidity with mumps in adulthood. ...Read more

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How soon after chicken pox can an adult go back to work?

About a week: Chickenpox tends to emerge in waves of new spots over a period of 2-5 days. The blister grows, pops ; crusts usually within a single day. A person is considered contagious for 1-2 days before to 6 days after the emergence of the rash. ...Read more

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What food to eat when you have chicken pox to adult female?

What food to eat when you have chicken pox to adult female?

Family practice: You can eat anything that you can tolerate. Soup is always good. ...Read more

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What are the adult symptoms of chicken pox that children might not get?

What are the adult symptoms of chicken pox that children might not get?

Varicella: The major complications from chicken pox in adults are : bacterial skin infection, nerve irritation, pneumonia and hepatitis. Although these can occur in children, adults who get chickenpox have even higher rates of complications. ...Read more

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How important it is to take shower during adult chicken pox? Is it required?

How important it is to take shower during adult chicken pox? Is it required?

Beneficial practice: Regular bathing reduces the chance that the blisters of chickenpox will be invaded by bacterial agents. Group a strep, staph & others find the weeping lesions a fertile breeding ground. People are >50x more likely to get flesh eating strep during cpx. Most adults would choose to bathe with these odds but some may not. ...Read more

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Why is it more dangerous to get chicken pox as an adult than to get it as a child?

Pneomonia: Vericella pneumonia is a life theatening risk for an adult who develops chicken pox. The adult needs to be started on antiviral medications as soon as possible. ...Read more

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Is having chicken pox as an adult truly more dangerous than getting chicken pox as a child?

Is having chicken pox as an adult truly more dangerous than getting chicken pox as a child?

Adult chicken pox: Chickenpox complications are more likely to occur in adults than in children. Despite the fact that adults account for only 5 percent of chickenpox cases per year, they account for a disproportionate number of deaths (55 percent) and hospitalizations (33 percent) compared to children. ...Read more

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Could somebody be sterile from having the chicken pox as an adult?

Not likely: Chickenpox can cause temporary infertility from fever that decreases sperm count. This usually resolves within 90 days. It rarely causes orchitis or testicular inflammation. That is more commonly attributed to mumps
so no...Not likely sterility results from chickenpox.. ...Read more

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My four year old nephew has gave me the chicken pox is this dangerous with me being an adult?

My four year old nephew has gave me the chicken pox is this dangerous with me being an adult?

Uncomfortable!: Chicken pox is a condition that is usually more uncomfortable than serious. In the US it's pretty rare because of the widespread use of a vaccine. If you have confirmed CP then your goal is to stay as comfortable as possible and treat fever or itching with appropriate meds. If you develop high fever or large areas of redness see ur doctor as strep infections can occur as a complication. ...Read more

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Have you received the chicken pox vaccine as an adult?

Yes: Chickenpox can be a rather nasty experience for an adult, producing a sometimes fatal varicella pneumonia. Those with no evidence of previous varicella by blood test or personal history should consider vaccination. ...Read more

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Does chicken pox in young children always cause shingles later as an adult?

Does chicken pox in young children always cause shingles later as an adult?

See below: Shingles is the reappearance of the chicken pox virus in adulthood after a period of stress or immunocompromise. You must have had chickenpox earlier in life to develop shingles. ...Read more

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Can a vaccinated child be a chicken pox "carrier" and give it to an unvaccinated child or adult?

Can a vaccinated child be a chicken pox "carrier" and give it to an unvaccinated child or adult?

No: Even though the vaccine is a live virus you cannot spread it to others. However people immune suppressed may be ate some risk to getting the disease. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are adults more likely to get pneumonia from chicken pox (varicella pneumonia) than children are?

I'm wondering why are adults more likely to get pneumonia from chicken pox (varicella pneumonia) than children are?

Because.: Many illnesses that are mild when they occur in childhood are more more severe when contracted as an adult. It may be that the immune response is over-reactive in the adult organism & that this hyper-response is at least partially responsible for the severity of symptoms in adults. Mononucleosus is typically worse when occurring in adults and adolescent. In younger children its just like a cold. ...Read more

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Are adults more likely or less likely to develop shingles if, every few years, they come into contact with children who have chicken pox?

Are adults more likely or less likely to develop shingles if, every few years, they come into contact with children who have chicken pox?

Depends...: ...On how high your chicken pox antibody titre is. As we get older our antibody levels diminish, and it is thought that when the level drops below some unknown threshold, the next exposure to chicken pox will trigger shingles. (there may be other triggers as well.) the risk increases as you get older, which is why the shingles vaccine (zostavax) is recommended after age 60. ...Read more

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Could chicken pox in adults affect the brain and their memory function?

Could chicken pox in adults affect the brain and their memory function?

Yes: Chickenpox can produce a mild encephalitis with an effect on adult thinking and function. The effect is usually transient (weeks) but can vary from case to case. This is never a good disease to have in adulthood. ...Read more

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How long should an adult with shingles stay away from children who have not had chicken pox?

How long should an adult with shingles stay away from children who have not had chicken pox?

Best evidence...: ...Suggests that shingles is contagious starting when blisters appear and ending 24 hours after all the blisters have crusted over. This usually takes about 7 days from beginning to end - longer in severe cases. But remember that most kids these days have been vaccinated against chickenpox, so the question is often moot. ...Read more

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Can you receive the chicken pox vaccine as an adult?

Yes you can: All people over the age of 13 who have not had chicken pox and have not received the vaccine should get two doses of Varicella Vaccine a month apart to get the desired immunity ...Read more

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I did not have chicken pox as a child but have had shingles as an adult. I am on enbrel (etanercept). Should I avoid contact with people with shingles?

I did not have chicken pox as a child but have had shingles as an adult. I am on enbrel (etanercept). Should I avoid contact with people with shingles?

Not necessary: Although you do not remember having had symptomatic chickenpox as a child you must have gotten it since shingles (herpes zoster) is a recurrence of the varicella zoster virus infection. Once you have this you have it for life. Am surprised that you have not been advised to have the vaccine. In any event you don't have to avoid individuals with shingles. ...Read more

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Hey, can I have some help with the recommendations for adults and chicken pox / shingles vaccines?

Hey, can I have some help with the recommendations for adults and chicken pox / shingles vaccines?

Restate question: If you have a specific need, please describe it and ask a related question. If you do not understand the vaccines or what they do, please ask. Please start over & provide a defined concern that can be addressed in a finite answer. We have limited space to respond. ...Read more