GC: n

S: WHO – (last access: 27 December 2019); CDC – (last access: 28 August 2014).

N: 1. varicella (n): “chicken-pox,” medical Latin, 1764, irregular diminutive of variola (see variola). Related: Varicellous.

. A member of the family Herpesviridae, varicella zoster virus (VZV) is named for the 2 main diseases (chickenpox and herpes zoster [shingles]) it causes. Varicella may be a diminutive of “variola” because it was considered a mild form of smallpox. “Variola” was coined by Rudolph Augustin Vogel in 1764 and is possibly derived from the Latin varus (“pimple”) or varius (“speckled”). Herpes zoster derives from the Greek terms herpein (“to creep”) and zoster (“belt”). Not until the twentieth century was VZV recognized as the cause of both these diseases.

2. chickenpox, also called varicella, contagious viral disease characterized by an eruption of vesicles (small blisters) on the skin. The disease usually occurs in epidemics, and the infected persons are generally between two and six years old, although they can be of any age. The incubation period is about two weeks; there are practically no premonitory symptoms, though slight fever for about 24 hours may precede the eruption. A number of raised, itching red papules appear on the back or chest; within 12 to 24 hours these develop into tense vesicles filled with a clear fluid, which in another 36 hours or so becomes opalescent. During the fourth day the vesicles shrivel up and become scabs. Eventually the scabs fall off, usually leaving no scar. Fresh spots continue to appear during the first three days, so that at the end of that time they can be seen in all stages of growth and resolution. The eruption is most marked on areas covered by clothing, but it also occurs on the face and limbs and on the mucous membrane of the mouth and palate.

3. Varicella, or chickenpox, is an acute communicable disease characterized by a generalized vesicular rash. Because it is highly contagious, most individuals contract it in childhood.

4. Cultural Interrelation: Home Alone 3 (1997) directed by Raja Gosnell, and The Story of Us (1999) by Rob Reiner.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 4 September 2014); NCBI – (last access: 6 April 2024). 2. EncBrit – (last access: 28 July 2015). 3. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 27 December 2019). 4. CampUsal – (last access: 6 April 2024).

SYN: 1. chicken pox. 2. chickenpox.

S: 1. GDT – (last access: 27 December 2019); TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 27 December 2019). 2. EncBrit – (last access: 28 July 2015); GDT – (last access: 27 December 2019); TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 27 December 2019).

CR: herpes zoster, measles, rubella, varicella vaccine.