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How long should you stay off work if you have chickenpox?


Do you need to stay off work if you have chickenpox? And how long should you stay off for?

When you think of illnesses in the workplace, chickenpox doesn’t immediately spring to mind. Most of us suffered the itchy blotches as children. Chickenpox in adults is comparatively rare.

However, adults can also suffer chickenpox and it’s the sort of illness at work companies are keen to avoid.


Should you stay off work if you have chickenpox?

The short answer is yes. Not only is chickenpox contagious, it’s also highly unlikely you’ll be in any fit state to work.

The symptoms of chickenpox tend to be worse in adults than children. Serious complications are also more common, though still rare. Within 24 hours of the virus starting, an antiviral drug can be used to limit the severity of the illness. Other than that, it’s a case of treating the symptoms until the illness is gone. A full recovery is usual. It’s just the interim that’s extremely uncomfortable.


The main symptoms of chickenpox in adults include:

  • A high temperature, aches and a headache. These symptoms will frequently appear a day or so before the rash does.
  • Spots. The infamous red blotches synonymous with chicken pox appear in crops. They develop into small blisters and can be very itchy. They can appear anywhere on the body and even in the mouth. Further crops are likely to develop over time.
  • Loss of appetite, tiredness and feeling sick.

Given this, it’s unlikely you will feel up to going into a work. In fact, you definitely should stay home. Chickenpox is highly infectious. If you are in the same room as someone for more than 15 minutes, it can spread. Similarly, a face-to-face conversation can lead to the virus spreading.

In fact, the above circumstances will see 9/10 people who haven’t previously had chickenpox get infected. The conclusion is simple, if you have chickenpox, stay away from the office.

The virus is infectious from 2 days before the spots appear until they have all crusted over. This is typically about five days.


Making a work-related claim

Chickenpox isn’t really one of them, but there are some work-related illnesses where you may be due compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline today for expert guidance on your >work illness compensation claim.

Our expert advisors can be reached on 0800 689 5659.