What a fascinating trap!
kristen1988: They’re not exactly sure why, but adults are much more likely to get dangerous side effects from chicken pox than children. They are more likely to end up in the hospital with complications like pneumonia and meningitis which is what can kill them.
[Curiosity.com](https://curiosity.com/topics/why-are-the-chickenpox-so-much-worse-for-adults-curiosity/) has one of the theories which is that “Kids’ immune systems are dominated by phagocytes, which are big cells that “eat” any foreign material, while adult immune systems employ more antibodies, which attack microbial invaders like X-Wings attack TIE Fighters. It might be that the hungry, hungry hippo style of immune system is just more effective against certain viruses.”
tgpineapple: We don’t actually know why, but the child immune system and the adult immune system react differently to the varicella-zoster virus and that means that the adult infection can come with rather fatal complications as a result of infection. The reasoning can be due to how our antibodies react to infections (adults have been infected more so their antibodies have greater memory of more viruses) and perhaps the composition of different white blood cells in our body (they have very complex interactions).
But it can cause greater levels of fluid trapped in the lungs, known as pneumonia which can be incredibly uncomfortable and feel like you can’t breathe. It can also cause infection and inflammation within the brain (encephalitis) which is very lethal. You can also die from your immune response having a huge body-wide reaction to the virus (sepsis).
Because of how infectious it is, you can catch it from your child, or any child, as well as contact with people who have re-emerged virus which is known as Shingles. If you’ve never been vaccinated or infected, its strongly suggested that you do get vaccinated ASAP.
Drpatronus: The science on this isn’t really well understood. It is speculated that this occurs due to the difference between the immune systems of adults and children. Adults are more likely to get complications (e.g. pneumonia – a lung infection) from chickenpox, whereas children are not.
Dr_Pickle_Fingers: Lots of children die of chicken pox too, you just never hear about it because nobody cares about kids except for their own parents.
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