JOHN RADCLIFFE HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. JOHN RADCLIFFE HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Close up of the skin surface of an adult with a severe case of chickenpox (medical name varicella). It is a childhood disease; a single attack usually conferring a life-long immunity. The disease is caused by a herpesvirus, Herpes zoster & is transmitted by airborne droplets. Incubation period is between 11-18 days, after which a mild fever develops, followed within 24 hours by an itchy rash of dark red pimples. There is no treatment beyond rest & calamine lotion to reduce scratching. The patient is infectious from the onset of symptoms until the spots have disappeared.
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