Chickenpox - Diagnosis

It is usually quite easy to diagnose chickenpox in children. A school nurse or a parent is often able to recognize the disease. A doctor can sometimes diagnose the disease over the telephone. The doctor should also be called if:

  • The child's fever goes above 102°F (39°C) or lasts more than four days.
  • The child's blisters appear to be infected. Signs of infection include leakage of pus from blisters, or excessive redness, warmth, tenderness, or swelling around the blisters.
  • The child seems nervous, confused, unresponsive, or unusually sleepy. A stiff neck or severe headache, poor balance or trouble walking, sensitivity to bright lights, breathing problems or excessive coughing, and chest pain or vomiting could be signs of more serious illnesses, such as Reye's syndrome (see Reye's syndrome entry) or encephalitis.

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