Friday, 1 April 2011


I had never had chickenpox (touch wood) until to date.

I’ve always wanted to get myself vaccinated, but I always delay this matter. Until last week a family member infected by chickenpox (in healing stage) came to our house, I was damned terrified.

Truthfully, it’s not about the potential scars and itchiness and the stay-away-from-beans-and-black-soysauce-thingys, but because the information I know about chickenpox and its implications. To share with you, here it is:-

Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella-zoster, a member of the herpesvirus family. It’s ok if you can’t pronounce the name (or the family name), but the coming info is important, make sure you read it correctly (don’t mind the Chinese characters if they are bothering you, it’s a repeated information).

The same virus also causes herpes zoster in adults. Herpes zoster is shingles, Chinese formal name带状疱疹 ,俗称生蛇 (commonly known as “snake”).

Chickenpox is highly contagious, it is spread through air.

A person infected by the chickenpox virus will develop blisters which will form crusts and normally will recover within say, 14 days. After a person recovers from chickenpox infection, the virus(es) DO NOT go away.

It will REMAIN DORMANT in the nerve cell/ tissue somewhere at the spinal cord (omitted some very difficult-to-pronouce-and-type scientific terms). It means the virus will hibernate in the body.

There is a probability of this virus being reactivated later in adulthood due to some reasons like decrease in immune system, cancerous cells, etc etc etc. But this time, causing not chickenpox. It is the very painful shingles.

Because the activated virus travels down the nerve and cause viral infection of the skin around the region of the nerve, it is extremely painful. I guess that also explains why the “snake” travels around forming rings on arms or legs or trunk, follow the nerve mah….

So, when the poor child innocently asked me if I have had chicken pox, “No,” I told him, “that’s why I need to stay away from you.” I’m probably infected; not sure, need to wait for 2 more weeks to confirm that.

So, please, try not to expose yourself to a person suffering from chickenpox, and get vaccination for yourself and your child(ren).

Scheiße. I shall not delay my vaccination. I will get it during the coming long semester break, if I’m still varicella-zoster-free (fingers & toes crossed).

My Biology teacher told us the brief version, I Googled for more info.

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