|Updated: 1/31/2013 9:18 am
||Published: 1/30/2013 10:11 pm
Television journalist Barbara Walters was hospitalized with a case of the chicken pox at age 83.
The virus is typically much more common in children than adults but the season to catch the virus is year round.
Dr. Sarah Elneser at Utica Park Clinic in Tulsa tells FOX23 the chicken pox is contagious all year round. She says adult cases of chicken pox is extremely rare.
“Most children have already had their vaccines so it’s kind of rare to see chicken pox in adults in this day and age,” said Dr. Elneser.
The U.S. started chicken pox immunizations in 1995.
Dr. Elneser says that chicken pox vaccination is administered in two rounds. Children typically receive their first dose when they are 15 months old and a second dose when they are 4 years old.
Even if a child or adult has been vaccinated, Dr. Elneser says it is possible to get chicken pox.
“However those children who do come down with the chicken pox have a less severe illness,” said Dr. Elneser.
Symptoms of chicken pox include a blister-type rash, itching, fever and fatigue.
Dr. Elneser says even if you had chicken pox in the past, you can still contract shingles. Shingles is caused by the re-activation of the virus.
“Once you get the chicken pox that virus goes into your nervous system and just sits there,” said Dr. Elneser, “It may never affect you at all or you may have an outbreak of singles.”
Dr. Elneser says that shingles can be triggered by stress or fatigue. Symptoms include blistering rash typically on one side of the body in a concentrated area. Shingles can be treated with anti-viral medications.