Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Chicken Pox

Chicken Pox, or Varicella, is a specific contagious disease, almost exclusively affecting young children, the characteristic feature of which is a peculiar vesicular eruption. Varicella occurs in epidemics, and until recent years was often confounded with small-pox (variola). The two diseases are, however, quite distinct from one another. Chicken-pox is usually a trivial affection, and is never fatal, save in very unhealthy subjects, or when it occurs in the very rare form known as varicella gangrenosa. The period of incubation is somewhat uncertain; it is said to average about fourteen days. The onset of the disease is often marked by slight fever, and then after an interval of some twenty-four hours the rash appears. Reddish papules are first developed, and these rapidly become vesicular; so that a number of rounded minute blebs, containing clear fluid, are seen to be scattered over the body. The back and shoulders are favourite situations for the varicella rash. The rapid development of the vesicles, and the fact that they often appear in successive crops, and rarely become pustular, seldom fail to readily distinguish the disease from the formidable variola. Children affected by varicella should be carefully isolated until all the scabs have disappeared. There is no specific treatment for chicken-pox. The disease runs its course in almost all cases without mishap; all that can be done is to adopt ordinary hygienic precautions, to administer tonic remedies, and to prevent any spread of the malady by isolation and disinfection.