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Why do kids get chickenpox?

Dear Dr. Cory:

Why do kids get chickenpox? I got it, last year when I was seven. My brother got it last year, too. He, was just, three years old.

Caroline Blasiak Chicago, Illinois

Dear Caroline:

Chickenpox is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. You catch it by inhaling infected droplets coughed or sneezed by an infected person, by coming in contact with chickenpox blisters, or by directly touching the rash of shingles infection. (Shingles is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.)

Most children who get chickenpox will have a fever, a headache, and itchy blisters over most of their body. A few children may have more severe reactions, such as pneumonia, brain swelling, or additional infections. Once you have had this disease, you are unlikely to get it again.

About 80 percent of children get chickenpox by the time they're ten year old. Fortunately, however, children may not get chickenpox in the future. Doctors now have a new vaccine that is at least 90 percent effective in preventing chickenpox. Chickenpox may soon be a thing of the past!
COPYRIGHT 1995 Children's Better Health Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:medical advice column; Ask Doctor Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:U.S. Kids
Date:Dec 1, 1995
Words:186
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