How chickenpox can be transmitted and why it has only one route of transmission

Today we will talk about how chickenpox is transmitted in children and adults and about possible misconceptions associated with the transmission of this disease. There are many sources on the net where they write about chickenpox and transmission routes are not always reliable. Even the well-known misconception that chickenpox is treated exclusively with brilliant green can often be found on the Internet, but green has no therapeutic and antiviral effect.


How is chickenpox transmitted from person to person? Chickenpox is transmitted only by airborne droplets. When a child becomes infected with chickenpox, it is difficult to determine this fact. Since the incubation period of chicken pox is almost always longer than the latent one. This means that the first obvious symptoms of chickenpox will appear after the person who has caught the Varicella virus zoster , which causes the disease, will be contagious within two or three days.

The human body is one hundred percent susceptible to the herpes virus Varicella zoster . This means that if a person is in the same room with a child or an adult who is undergoing a period of contagiousness, then a healthy person will be one hundred percent infected with this disease. Many people think that if their child does not get sick, being with a virus carrier at a distance accessible from him for infection, then their baby has good immunity. This is not so, just in this case, chickenpox is mild and does not give large-scale symptoms.


Varicella zoster ( Varicella zoster is a type 3 herpes virus. This strain of herpesvirus is particularly aggressive in finding a host. This allows it to infect all people living in a civilized society:

as mentioned above, our body is completely susceptible to the causative agent of chickenpox;

at Varicella zoster is a good airborne transmission tactic, its volatility reaches hundreds of meters;

the virus begins to be released from the body of the infected person before the first symptoms appear.

The virus is not just called “chickenpox”, sometimes it seems that they are infected from the wind. This impression is created not only because of situations when the child was in contact with the patient, and the incubation period has not yet ended, but the period of contagiousness has already begun. The virus can be picked up from the house opposite, if there is a sick chickenpox. Therefore, the disease is called “chicken pox”.

The name smallpox is given because of the rashes and extensive skin lesions, but smallpox, from which entire villages died, and chickenpox are different diseases.


We examined how chickenpox is transmitted in a general sense, now let’s dwell on this in more detail:

The varicella-zoster virus is transmitted from children to other children or adults when an infected child begins to sneeze and cough during the infectious period.

Chickenpox vectors stop transmitting the virus five days after the last outbreak.

The period of contagiousness begins two days before the onset of the first symptoms of chickenpox, in the form of papules similar to insect bites.

Chickenpox can be transmitted to a child from an adult who has a relapse of Varicella zoster in the form of shingles.

If a child has chickenpox, then it is impossible to provoke shingles in an adult.

If an adult did not have chickenpox in childhood and there are no specific antibodies to the Varicella virus in the body zoster , then the child will infect him with chickenpox, and not shingles.


There are many misconceptions about whether chickenpox is transmitted through household contact and other myths associated with this disease. Let’s take a look at them.

Chickenpox is transmitted through third parties. This is not true, the varicella-zoster virus survives very poorly in the environment. And unless a third person gets sick due to lack of immunity to the virus, it will not infect other people.

Varicella Zoster is well adapted to everyday life. This myth is pervasive because people use logic about the volatility of the virus, but don’t see the whole picture. The virus does not live long in the environment, but it spreads quickly through the wind.

The virus is transmitted by household means. The varicella-zoster virus is not transmitted by household and contact routes. This is a chickenpox virus, and until the child starts coughing or sneezing, transmission of the virus is unlikely, and through household items is impossible.

Adults do not get chickenpox. By adulthood, most people are immune to chickenpox. Even if it seems to a person that he did not get sick in childhood, most likely, the disease passed in a mild form. So there is immunity. But if an adult really was not infected with chickenpox in childhood, then he will definitely get it.

Chickenpox can be contracted and ill once in a lifetime. In medical practice, there are many examples of secondary infection with chickenpox, and not a provocation of the virus to herpes zoster. Under certain conditions related to the immune system, re-infection is possible.

Summing up, let’s remember the most important of the above. Firstly, chickenpox is not transmitted by household means. Secondly, the virus begins to spread before the skin rash appears. Thirdly, you can catch the virus while being hundreds of meters from the source of infection. These are the most important rules to remember.

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