Chicken Pox – Questions

1Q: What organism is responsible for chicken pox?













1A: Varicella zoster virus.


2Q: Where may the virus lie dormant?














2A: In the dorsal root ganglion.

3Q: If the virus becomes reactivated what is that disease called?












3A: Reactivation of the virus results in Shingles.


4Q: How is chicken pox spread?












4A: Chicken pox is spread by the respiratory route.


5Q: Who could a patient catch chicken pox from?











5A: From a patient suffering from either chickenpox or shingles.


6Q: When does a patient become infective to someone else?











6A: They become infective from 4 days before the rash first appears.


7Q: Until when does a patient remain infective?












7A: They remain infective until 5 days after the rash first appears.

8Q: How long is the incubation period for chickenpox?











8A: 10 – 21 days.


9Q: What does the clinical syndrome usually start with?











9A: Fever


10Q: Where does the chicken pox rash start and spread to?











10A: The rash usually starts on the head and trunk and spreads all over the body.


11Q: How bad is the systemic illness?












11A: Systemic upset is usually mild.


12Q: How do you manage chickenpox? (three things)











12A: Keep them cool, trim nails, calamine lotion,

13Q: When do you keep kids off school – how long for?











13A: Keep them off school until all the lesions have crusted crusted over.


14Q: Who do you need to be really careful for if they’re exposed to chicken pox?











14A: immunocompromised and newborns.


15Q: If those patients are exposed what should they receive?












15A: Varocella zoster immunoglobulin (VZIG)


16Q: If chickenpox develops in the immunocompromised or in newborns, what should be considered?












16A: IV aciclovir


17Q: What is the most common complication of chickenpox?











17A: Secondary infection of the lesion.


18Q: What are the rare complications of chickenpox?











18A: Pneumonia

Encephalitis (cerebella involvement may be seen)

Disseminated haemorrhagic chickenpox

Arthritis, nephritis and pancreatitis