Under 18 GP Appointments
We now offer GP appointments for children aged between 1 and 18 via our remote video service (UK wide) and face to face appointments at selected centres. Please note that these appointments cannot be booked online so please call 0330 822 3072 for more information or to book. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5pm. We may record and monitor our calls. Available from £49.
To book or to make an enquiry, call us on 0343 253 8381∧
Chickenpox is a common infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. The rash you get with chickenpox has flat or slightly raised red spots, which rapidly progress to fluid-filled blisters. You might also have symptoms, such as a raised temperature (fever), headache, sore throat and loss of appetite.
Chickenpox is highly contagious. You’re most infectious one to two days before your rash appears, so you can spread it to other people before you even realise you have it. You remain infectious until all your spots crust over (usually about five days after the rash appears).
You’re no longer infectious when all your spots have crusted over. This is usually around five days after the chickenpox rash appears. But, if you’ve had chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus will stay in your body for the rest of your life.
You shouldn’t travel by plane until you’re no longer infectious, which is when all your spots have crusted over. This is usually around five days after the chickenpox rash appears. Airlines have a right to refuse you if you’re unwell, as it’s their duty to protect other passengers. This is because you could pass on the infection to other people. So, if you’ve already booked a flight, you may need to delay it for a few days.
If your spots have crusted over but are still visible, you may need a letter from your doctor to confirm that you’re no longer contagious. Contact the airline you’re travelling with to find out.
There is a chickenpox vaccine, but in the UK it’s only recommended for certain people if they’re not immune already. This includes healthcare workers and anyone in regular close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system.
Once you’ve had chickenpox, it’s likely you’ll stay immune for life. This means you’re unlikely to catch the infection again and won’t spread it to others. It’s possible to get chickenpox again, usually if your first infection was very mild – but this is very rare.
Once you’ve recovered from chickenpox, the virus stays hidden in your body. This doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. But at any time later in your life, the virus can be reactivated, causing shingles.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
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