Chicken Pox Symptoms, Treatment & Vaccine in Singapore

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease it can cause an itchy, blister-like rash. The rash first appears on the chest, back, and face, and then spreads over the entire body, causing between 250 and 500 itchy blisters it is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with bodies that have a lowered ability to fight germs and sickness (weakened immune system). The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine.

What are the causes and risk factors of Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus spreads easily from people with chickenpox to others who have never had the disease or never been vaccinated. If one person has it, there is a high chance of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. The virus spreads mainly through close contact with someone who has chickenpox.

A person with chickenpox is considered contagious beginning 1 to 2 days before rash onset until all the chickenpox lesions have crusted (scabbed). It takes about 2 weeks (from 10 to 21 days) after exposure to a person with chickenpox or shingles for someone to develop chickenpox. If a vaccinated person gets the disease, they can still spread it to others. For most people, getting chickenpox once provides immunity for life. It is possible to get chickenpox more than once, but this is not common.

What are the symptoms and treatment for Chickenpox?

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 chest, back, and face, and then spread over the entire body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all of the blisters to become scabs. Other typical symptoms that may begin to appear one to two days before rash include: fever, tiredness, loss of appetite or headache.

The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine. Everyone—including children, adolescents, and adults—should get two doses of chickenpox vaccine if they have never had chickenpox or were never vaccinated. Chickenpox vaccine is safe and effective at preventing the disease. 

How can you protect yourself with the chickenpox vaccine in Singapore?

There are several things that you can do at home to help relieve chickenpox symptoms and prevent skin infections. Calamine lotion and a cool bath with added baking soda may help relieve some of the itching. Try to keep fingernails trimmed short and minimize scratching to prevent the virus from spreading to others and to help prevent skin infections. If you do scratch a blister by accident, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

There are antiviral medications licensed for treatment of chickenpox. The medication works best if it is given as early as possible, preferably within the first 24 hours after the rash starts. If you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider immediately.