Chicken pox is caused by the highly contagious varicella virus, which you are likely to have had as a child. It can be spread in the air and through direct contact with someone who is infected. The most common symptoms include fever, body aches and fatigue. The rash lasts between five and seven days and covers your body with 250 to 500 blisters. It is also possible for the blister to present on the inside of your body and in your mouth.
Shingles is caused when the virus that caused your chicken pox all those years ago reactivates in your body. This could be due to treatment for another illness, a weakened immunity because of other health concerns or simply just getting older. As we get older our chances of developing shingles increase.
Both conditions are preventable with vaccines. Chicken pox vaccines are recommended for children when they are between 12 and 15 months, and a second dose of immunization is recommended between the ages of four and six. With the shingles vaccine, it has a 50 per cent chance of preventing you from developing the condition, but if you are one of the unlucky 50 per cent who gets it, your outbreak is less likely to be severe. The shingles vaccine also reduces the chances of developing post herpetic neuralgia by 66 per cent. You can still get a shingles vaccine if you have already had chicken pox; the vaccine may help with preventing the virus to be reactivated.
Chicken pox is a relatively common childhood virus, and most kids recover within ten to 14 days if not sooner. When chicken pox presents in adults, however, the symptoms can be very severe and make the patient very sick. Less than 5 per cent of adults are susceptible to the virus, and younger people and kids have the biggest chances of catching it.
In the interests of preventive care you should get a shingles vaccine once you reach 50; these are available at low cost health care Las Vegas clinics.