Chicken pox is an infectious disease caused by Vermicelli- Zoster virus. The disease affects mostly children and there are usually no complications when a child is infected. In children who are under the age of five there is possibility of bacterial infection of the skin changes caused by the virus. In that case the treatment consists of antibiotics. However if disease occurs in adults, pregnant women, immunocompromized people and even infants under the five months complications may be quite serious and severe.
Majority of adults who get infected are hospitalized. They may develop problems with lungs like pneumonia and the risk is higher in smokers. Even though the adults need more time to recover from the disease they eventually do get better. In rare cases the disease may lead to neurological complications such as cerebella ataxia which features with walking and vision difficulties and problems with speaking but the symptoms do fade away.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing pneumonia once they get infected with the virus. If a woman gets infected during pregnancy the nature of complications as well as their intensity depend on the trimester she is in. The infection during the first twenty weeks carries the risk of fetal vermicelli syndrome is rare but possible. This syndrome may lead to grave complications such as skin scars, defects of the eyes (cataract), undersized limbs and even brain damage. During the second and the third trimester there is possibility that baby would be born with symptoms and signs of the chicken pox infection. Apart from this they are supposed to be healthy. Infection in the late stages of the pregnancy may lead to premature delivery. But if a woman is infected 7 days before or 7 days after the baby's birth the infant may develop a serious form of the disease which even carries a risk of lethal outcome. All the pregnant women who smoke and suffer from lung diseases (bronchitis), or those women who are treated with steroids are at greater risk of developing complications. In case a woman is exposed to the virus while being pregnant a child may even develop shingles during the first years after birth if the virus is reactivated.
People whose immune system does not function properly are more prone to infections therefore are more susceptible to chicken pox. This condition may be severe for all those who have cancers, HIV or AIDS, and those who are under immunosuppressant therapy. Immune system of these people is rather weak to fight the infection so apart from pneumonia they may develop meningitis and septicemia.