NHS Service

What is the difference between chickenpox and monkeypox?

Chickenpox Vaccination

Even though their names might suggest they’re similar diseases, monkeypox and chickenpox are two separate conditions. If you aren’t sure what the differences are, you’re not alone. Monkeypox is a relatively new threat that people outside of Africa aren’t often familiar with. It’s not very widespread in the UK, but you should still be familiar with the signs and symptoms in case you do come down with a pox-like viral infection.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox, also known as Mpox, is caused by the monkeypox virus. It can be spread from person to person and even between some humans and animals. The monkeypox virus belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox, however, unlike smallpox, mpox symptoms tend to be milder and are rarely fatal.

The painful and itchy rash associated with mpox usually appears on or around the genitals, but can also appear on the mouth, hands, feet, torso, and face.

Other symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Stuffy nose

Mpox is most often found in central or west Africa. There have been a slight increase in cases in the UK and western countries but this isn’t cause for concern. The risk of catching mpox in the UK is still very low.

What is Chickenpox? 

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It used to be more prevalent before the chickenpox vaccine became widely available. Most people get a relatively mild case of chickenpox when they are children, but it can occur to people of any age. The older you are, the more dangerous it can be. Pregnant women and those with lowered immune systems are also at a higher risk.

The virus causes an itchy, blister-like rash to first appear on the chest, back, and face before it spreads across the whole body. Other symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite

Is it Chickenpox or Monkeypox?

One way to tell the difference is by checking the demographic of the sick person. Monkeypox tends to happen in older, homosexual men while chickenpox usually affects younger children.

Also, chickenpox blisters are filled with clear fluid while monkeypox blisters are firm, rubbery, and deeply seated within the skin. Chickenpox lesions also tend to rupture or break easily and mpox lesions are difficult to break. Chickenpox lesions will clear much faster than mpox lesions.

Chickenpox Vaccination in Sydenham and Ramsgate

Another area where mpox and chickenpox differ is that the chickenpox has a highly effective vaccine. Since the vaccine became available, cases of chickenpox have drastically dropped. The vaccine is recommended for people of all ages who haven’t had the chickenpox.

Save you and your loved one’s from the preventable misery of chickenpox by booking an appointment with Touchwood Pharmacy for chickenpox vaccination  in Streatham and Northampton. We also offer chickenpox vaccine in Northolt. Visit our website or contact us directly to book your fast and affordable vaccination.