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What are the signs and symptoms of chickenpox?

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The best-known signs of chickenpox are:
  • A red, itchy rash that initially may look like insect bites
  • Small, liquid-filled blisters that break open and crust over

The chickenpox rash occurs in three stages. First, there are raised pink or red bumps (papules). These bumps will turn into fluid-filled blisters (vesicles). And, finally, the vesicles will crust over and scab. It's possible that all three of these stages may occur at once.

The rash may be preceded by or accompanied by:
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain or loss of appetite
  • Mild headache
  • General feeling of unease and discomfort (malaise) or irritability
  • A dry cough
  • Headache

Common sites for the rash include the face, scalp, chest and back. The rash can also spread across your entire body, even into your throat, eyes and vagina. New spots continue to appear for several days. In healthy children, the disease is generally mild.
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