What are the first signs of chickenpox (varicella)?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020
  • Author: Anthony J Papadopoulos, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Childhood chickenpox is usually not heralded by a prodrome; it begins with the onset of an exanthem. In adults and adolescents, chickenpox may be preceded by a prodrome of nausea, myalgia, anorexia, and headache. The triad of rash, malaise, and a low-grade fever can signal disease onset, though the typical patient is infectious for 1-2 days prior to the development of rash.

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