Chicken Pox

This passage discusses the childhood disease, chicken pox.

Lexile Level: 740L

Categories: Sports & Health


Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease commonly caught by children. It is very rarely life-threatening. It is more dangerous if an adult contracts it. A virus causes the disease. It is named for the spots that appear on the body and head. These are small, itchy sores. Chicken pox also causes a moderate fever. The sores, or lesions, contain fluid that is highly infectious. Chicken pox also spreads through the air if the infected person coughs or sneezes. Once someone has contracted chicken pox, they should not go out in public until all of the lesions are gone. This can take up to two weeks. Usually only the symptoms of chicken pox are treated: the itching and the fever. The scientific name for the disease is Varicella simplex. In 1995, scientists introduced a chicken pox vaccine. Now chicken pox is much less prevalent than it used to be. Once someone has chicken pox, they are usually immune to it for the rest of their life.


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