Chickenpox is a common infection that normally affects children under ten years old. In children, it is generally a mild infection, which is why most parents actively try to expose their children to chickenpox when they are young so that they acquire immunity. However, the symptoms can be more severe in adults and can lead to more complications.
Who is at
high risk of chickenpox?
Some groups of people are at higher risk of complications if they become infected with chickenpox, such as pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
Is shingles the
same as chickenpox?
Although shingles is caused by the same virus (varicella zoster) that causes chickenpox, they are not the same illness.
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Varicella zoster IgG
Varicella Zoster is another name for the virus which causes chickenpox and shingles. It is a type of herpes virus and tends to infect a large proportion of the population at a young age, causing chicken pox, and from there on it lays dormant in the nerve cells. However, in about 25% of people, the virus may reactivate later in life, presenting itself as shingles, a painful blistering rash focussed on one particular area of the body. Testing for the presence of IgG in the blood indicates whether someone has previously been infected and has developed immunity to the virus.
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