Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes both varicella (chickenpox) and zoster (shingles). VZV is a member of the herpesvirus family, closely related but distinct from herpes simplex virus. Symptoms include a rash composed of small blisters that are intensely itchy and also fever, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
Most cases of chickenpox in otherwise healthy children are treated with bed rest, fluids, and medications to control fever and itching. Children with chickenpox should NOT receive aspirin, because aspirin may increase the risk of Reye's syndrome (a rare and serious childhood disease that can be life-threatening). The recommended medication for fever control is acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Chickenpox may be treated with an antiviral drug in serious cases, depending on the patient's age,,health, the extent of the infection, and the timing of the treatment.
Varicella vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Most people who receive varicella vaccine will not get chickenpox.