By Andrew Fenton, APThe disease spread rapidly across the United States this past spring, with thousands of cases in the weeks before Christmas, and many states were in the grips of an epidemic.
The outbreak of varicellosis is now estimated to be about 2 million cases, but there is no known cure.
The most common symptoms include fever, muscle pain, rash, and swelling in the joints and neck.
People can also get it by sharing household materials with others, like household cleaners and baby formula.
The virus also can spread through close contact with other people, even if they are immune.
The disease can be deadly, though the rate of infection among people with mild cases has fallen dramatically since the outbreak began.
But people who are healthy can still spread the disease.
The CDC estimates about 7 million people are infected each year, or about one in every six people in the United Sates.
The vast majority of people with the disease do not have symptoms and will not get sick.
The rest of the population can contract the virus by touching household surfaces, coughing or sneezing, or sharing water and/or food with someone with the illness.
But even if you don’t have symptoms, you could be at risk for spreading the disease through others, especially if you:Touch someone else who is sick, especially with an infected person or when someone is sharing household surfaces with someone who has the disease, such as sharing water or baby formula.(AP photo/Susan Walsh)Dr. Daniel Fauci, an infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement that people with varicello could have shared household surfaces or water with others with the virus, and that they should be tested for varicelli.
“If you’re sharing a bathroom with a person with the infection, and they have fever, they should get tested,” he said.
“Infection is a very rare and treatable condition.
And as long as there are people who have the disease who are in close contact, they can spread the virus.”
The CDC is encouraging people with symptoms of varicoseliar to contact their healthcare provider and seek treatment.
They also are asked to wash their hands thoroughly and use sanitizers on household surfaces and toys before sharing them with others.
Anyone who is unsure about their health status or who may be at high risk for contracting the disease should call their doctor or go to a health clinic.