Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Varicella Underlying Cause

Facts about chicken pox:

  • Chicken pox is caused by a herpes virus, called Varicella zoster.
  • Symptoms occur 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus.
  • After the symptoms of chicken pox resolve, the virus becomes inactive and is stored in the nerves that exit the spinal cord.
  • Later in life, the virus can become activated, which results in symptoms of shingles.

Continue to Varicella Transmission

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Varicella References
  1. Arvin AM. Antiviral therapy for varicella and herpes zoster. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2002 Jan;13(1):12-21. [12118839]
  2. Hambleton S. Chickenpox. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Jun;18(3):235-40. [15864101]
  3. Harris D, Redhead J. Should acyclovir be prescribed for immunocompetent children presenting with chickenpox? Arch Dis Child. 2005 Jun;90(6):648-50. [15908639]
  4. Swingler G. Chickenpox. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):1050-7. [15865701]
  5. Vazquez M. Varicella infections and varicella vaccine in the 21st century. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Sep;23(9):871-2. [15361729]
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