VARICELLA ZOSTER VACCINATION (VARICELLA)
What is varicella, you ask? It's chicken pox!
Varicella, more commonly known as “chickenpox,” is a common acute infectious disease that almost every adult has had at one point in life. The varicella-zoster virus or the VZV, a DNA virus, is what causes this disease. Like other members of the herpesvirus group, the varicella-zoster virus stays in the human body after the primary infection. The primary infection with varicella-zoster virus leads to varicella. When the latent infection is reactivated, it causes shingles or herpes zoster.
On average, the incubation period for the acute infectious disease is anywhere from 14 to 16 days after exposure to herpes zoster or varicella rash, with an approximate range of 10 to 21 days. Patients with this condition may experience a mild prodrome of malaise and fever one to two days before the onset of the rash (especially in adults). In kids, the rash is usually the initial sign of varicella.
Chickenpox is highly contagious. This virus can spread from one affected individual to the next via inhalation of aerosols from the vesicular fluids of the skin lesions of zoster or acute varicella and direct contact. It is also possible that the transmission occurs via infected respiratory secretions.
An individual with chickenpox is considered contagious one to two days prior to the onset of the rash until every chickenpox lesion has crusted.
WHO SHOULD GET THE VACCINE
Are you on the list?
• Infants at 12 months of age.
• Susceptible students in grade 6.
• Other susceptible individuals 12 months of age and older.
• Select special populations
• Healthcare wokers