Conditions InDepth: Chickenpox
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- Airborne droplets of moisture containing the virus
- Direct contact with fluid from a chickenpox rash
- Pneumonia —usually in adults or older children
- Liver or kidney inflammation
- Central nervous system complications, including:
- Bacterial infections from Group A streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus leading to infections in the skin, toxic shock syndrome , bacteremia, arteritis, gangrene , osteomyelitis , and pericarditis .
- Bleeding problems due to low platelet counts
- If a susceptible mother catches chickenpox while pregnant, damage to the baby may occasionally result. Some associated birth defects include: poor growth of arms or legs, skin scarring, small head, and perhaps intellectual disability or other abnormalities of the nervous system
- Shingles is a complication of chickenpox that can occur years later.
Chickenpox. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chickenpox.html . Updated May 2010. Accessed May 30, 2013.
Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/ . Updated April 25, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- Reviewer: David Horn, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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