Questions & Answers
Chickenpox - The Disease
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  1. What are the symptoms of chickenpox?
    The most common symptoms of chickenpox are rash, fever, coughing, fussiness, headache, and loss of appetite. The rash usually develops on the scalp and trunk, and then spreads to the face, arms, and legs. The rash usually forms 200 to 500 itchy blisters in several successive crops. The rash may even spread into the mouth or other internal parts of the body.

  2. How do I know if someone has chickenpox?
    Usually chickenpox can be diagnosed by disease history and appearance alone. Adults who need to know if they've had chickenpox in the past can have this determined by a blood test.

  3. How long does it take to show signs of chickenpox after being exposed?
    It takes from 10 to 21 days to develop symptoms after being exposed to a person infected with chickenpox. The usual time period is 14 to 16 days.

  4. How long does chickenpox last?
    The illness usually lasts about 5 to 10 days.

  5. How long is a person with chickenpox contagious?
    Patients with chickenpox are contagious for 1 to 2 days before the rash appears and continue to be contagious until all the blisters are crusted over (usually 6 to 8 days).