​Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a viral infection that leads to the formation of small fluid-filled blisters over the body, accompanied by itchy rashes. Most cases are in children under age 15, but older children and adults can get it. It is highly contagious which means it can spread very easily from one person to another. 

Ideally all children should be vaccinated, which creates some immunity against the disease. However, people who have not been vaccinated and have not had chickenpox are likely to contract this disease at least once in their lives. ​​

Chickenpox infection causes blister like rash that can occur on the entire body. The rash is extremely itchy and can be painful.  These appear 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus and usually lasts about 5 to 10 days. Other signs and symptoms, which may appear 1 to 2 days before the rash, include:​

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite

  • Headache

  • Tiredness 

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

  • Raised pink or red bumps (papules), which break out over several days

  • Small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), forming from the raised bumps over about one day before breaking and leaking

  • Crusts and scabs, which cover the broken blisters and take several more days to heal​

​If you contract the virus, you can transmit the virus for up to 48 hours before the rash appears, and you remain contagious until all spots crust over.​

Make an appointment to consult the doctor at Family Health or Internal Medicine Service Line​ if you or your child has the chicken pox rash or any of the accompanying symptoms. Do let the doctor know if you experience any of the conditions below:

  • ​The rash has spread to the eye

  • Dizziness and disorientation

  • Tremors or muscle ache

  • Escalated heartbeat

  • Aggravated cough

  • Vomiting

  • Stiff neck


Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Chickenpox is well recognized and can be easily diagnosed by examining the rash. If needed the doctor may order a blood test or culture of the lesion sample​.

In healthy children, no specific drug is prescribed to relieve the infection. It is allowed to follow its set course. The doctor may give you some medicines such as antihistamines to alleviate the itching.

In children and adults who are at high risk of complications, the doctors may prescribe antiviral medicines to reduce the length of this infection and reduce its impact.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.


Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.