Chickenpox In Adults
Chickenpox is a usual disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms of chickenpox include fever and irritation or blisters all over the body. Chickenpox is usually mild and runs its course between five to 10 days, but it can cause more serious problems when teens and adults get it. People with weakened immune systems are especially like to developing serious problems from chickenpox.
Some problems that can arise from chickenpox include:
- Skin infections
- Encephalitis (swelling in the brain)
- Shingles (later in life)
- Joint inflammation
Vaccination is the best method to prevent chickenpox. A chickenpox vaccine has been available in the United States since 1995 and is convenient to get from a public health clinic or a doctor. The chickenpox vaccine is very effective at preventing the disease — between 71% and 90% of people who get vaccinated will be completely protected to chickenpox. If a vaccinated person does get chickenpox, the symptoms will be very light and only last for a few days.
When should adults be vaccinated against chickenpox?
All adults who have never had chickenpox or get the vaccination should be vaccinated against it. Two doses of the vaccine must be given at least 4 weeks apart.
If you’ve never had chickenpox or been vaccinated and you are exposed to chickenpox, being vaccinated right on the spot will greatly reduce your risk of getting sick. Studies have concluded that vaccination within three days of exposure is 90% effective at preventing illness; vaccination within five days of exposure is 70% effective. If you do get sick, the symptoms will be lighter and shorter in duration.
Who shouldn’t get the chickenpox vaccine?
You must not be vaccinated opposed to chickenpox if you:
- Are adequately to severely ill at the time of vaccination
- Are pregnant (women must not become pregnant for one month after getting the chickenpox vaccine)
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to jeely or jam, the antibiotic neomycin, or a previous dose of chickenpox vaccine
These people must check with their doctor about getting the chickenpox vaccine:
- Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer
- People taking steroid drugs
- People with HIV or another disease that lower the immune system
- Patients who recently had a blood transfer or received other blood products
What’s in the chickenpox vaccine?
The chickenpox vaccine is create from a live, weakened form of the varicella virus. That means the virus is able to generate immunity in the body without causing illness.
The most common side effects from the chickenpox vaccine is redness, soreness,swelling or at the site of the injection. Some of people may also develop a mild rash or a low-grade fever after vaccination.
Serious reactions to the chickenpox vaccine are exceptionally rare, but they may include:
- Brain infection
- Loss of balance
- Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
If you think you may have a serious reaction to the chickenpox vaccine, call your health care provider right away. Make a note of the symptoms you’re experiencing, and report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967.
Women who receive the chickenpox vaccine while pregnancy should contact their health care provider right away. Chickenpox while pregnancy can cause birth defects, so there may be a risk that the chickenpox vaccine could cause the same birth defects.
As with other vaccines, the risks related with the chickenpox vaccine are much lower than the risks related with the disease itself.
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