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2012/02/27

Chicken Pox Side Effects in an Older Adult

Chicken pox seems very much like a childhood illness. Not many adults get it after childhood because a lot of children get the chicken pox. However, if one has not had the chicken pox they are at risk to get it as they get older. The results of the chicken pox can be much more severe.


External Symptoms - We identify chicken pox by the rashes and the blisters that cover the entire body. The rashes can appear in more than three different waves of pox. These rashes and their accompanying blisters can be quite itchy and uncomfortable. Fever can also result and in so doing make the afflicted sweaty.

More Serious Symptoms - Since the symptoms are usually more severe in adults one must take into account some of the more serious symptoms. These symptoms include: high fever, headache, chest congestion (in cases where asthma is present it can worsen), vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. 

Some Complications - Adults are more likely to develop bacterial infection when afflicted with chicken pox. These infections can lead to bone and/or joint infections, soft tissue infections, pneumonia (which can be much more severe in adults especially when they have chicken pox) and toxic shock syndrome.

Additional Side Effects - Some adults who are particularly afflicted can develop some very serious side effects. Among these side effects are encephalitis (infection of the brain), bleeding problems, cerebellar ataxia (lesions on the brain). Additionally, death occurs more readily in adults who have chicken pox than in children.

Comparisons of Complications - Only five percent of chicken pox cases are reported in adults. However, adults account for over 30 percent of the hospitalizations and over 50 percent of the deaths reported. Even with the advent of the chicken pox vaccine the chicken pox are 25 times more likely to be lethal in adults.

Discussion: Have you had Chickenpox as an adult? What was it like?

Cited: http://chickenpox.emedtv.com/
Cited: http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/articles/childhood/Chicken_Pox_Vaccine.htm

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