I got a call in the office today from a patient who felt she had chicken pox. She asked a very good question…how long am I contagious?
Varicella zoster, or chicken pox, is a viral infection that starts with typical cold symptoms….runny nose, cough and sneezing. 1 to 2 days later an itchy, blistery rash develops which, in some cases, can cover the entire body. A person is most contagious when the cold symptoms start and extends 2 to 3 days after the rash begins. Transmission occurs primarily through coughing, sneezing or breathing the viral particles, although directly touching the sores can also spread the infection. The rash tends to come in waves and lasts 10 to 14 days. The person is no longer infectious when the rash has completely scabbed over…..Richard R Samuel, MD Family Practice and Urgent Care Hayden, ID USA