The exact incidence of attacks of chickenpox in children is not known. It is, however, a common and highly infectious disease occurring most usually in the 2–8-year age group. Chickenpox is found all over the world except in a few isolated communities. In children the disease is usually a mild one with few complications or permanent after-effects. In adults contracting the disease this picture can be different, serious illness occasionally being the result. So, from this point of view, it is preferable that chickenpox should be contracted during childhood. (Introduction of the infection to isolated communities who do not generally suffer from chickenpox can also be serious.) There are two groups of children in whom an attack of chickenpox can also have serious results. These are:
those who are receiving immunosuppressant drugs for some other condition;
very young babies.
KeywordsPneumonia Encephalitis Cough Calamine
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© Patricia Gilbert 1995