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Chicken pox

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"… and take the iodine upstairs to Martha, Billy Stubbs has been picking his scabs and Eric Whalley's oozing all over his sheets — chicken pox on top of everything else."
Mrs Cole to one of her helpers at Wool's Orphanage in 1938[src]

Chicken pox is a highly contagious viral infection. It usually starts with skin rash, mainly on the torso and head rather than the extremities, and becomes itchy and raw pockmarks, which mostly heal without scarring.

A subject who has had chicken pox has the virus in a dormant form in the body's nerve tissues, but it can be reactivated in later life in a different form known as shingles (herpes zoster).

In 1938, Billy Stubbs and Eric Whalley developed chicken pox at Wool's Orphanage. Mrs Cole, the matron, told one of her helpers to take the iodine to Martha, so that she could disinfect their pockmarks.[1]


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)

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