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Dept. of Health warns about Chicken Pox spread


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Dept, of Health has received recent reports of chickenpox spreading in the community and it is important to stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones, especially children.

The rash caused by chickenpox appears 10 to 21 days after you're exposed and often lasts about 5 to 10 days. Other symptoms that may appear 1 to 2 days before the rash include:

•           Fever.

•           Loss of appetite.

•           Headache.

•           Tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell.

Once the chickenpox rash appears, it goes through three phases:

•           Raised bumps called papules, which break out over a few days.

•           Small fluid-filled blisters called vesicles, which form in about one day and then break and leak.

•           Crusts and scabs, which cover the broken blisters and take a few more days to heal.

New bumps keep showing up for several days. So you may have bumps, blisters and scabs at the same time. You can spread the virus to other people for up to 48 hours before the rash appears. And the virus stays contagious until all broken blisters have crusted over.

The disease is by and large mild in healthy children. But sometimes, the rash can cover the whole body.

Contact the Dept. of Health for more information.