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The name, “Chicken Pox” is vernacular because that the Varicella Zoster Virus. When it has a name the evokes cuteness and also is even silly, it is a condition that can, despite rarely, claim the life the a child. Before the might 1995 development of the Varicella vaccine, over 4 million civilization would endure from the Chicken Pox every year- roughly 100 would die.

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The an initial documentation that the virus is credited to the Italian, Giovanni Filippo (1510-1580) of Palermo. That course, then, it wasn’t dubbed Chicken Pox. It was called as the “Varicella Virus”. Chicken Pox is a strict English language term for this virus. The French speak to it Varicelle. The Spanish speak to the virus Varicela. Just the Germans speak to Chicken Pox through anything also remotely similar. They speak to them “Windpocken”.

So, back to the topic at hand, why IS it dubbed “Chicken Pox”? Well, there are countless theories, together there usually room to “street names” that things. In the 1600s the Englishman, Dr. Richard Morton, misdiagnosed the an illness as a milder kind of small Pox. Small Pox, though now eradicated v vaccination, was a fatal an illness that killed about 300-500 million human being during the 20th century alone, and also wasn’t any type of less deadly in Dr. Morton’s time. Because both viruses manifest us in the kind of lesions top top the skin as well as fever, the was straightforward to see why anyone would connect the two to one another.

In fact, the good 18th century physician Samuel Johnson himself is credited in among the most popular theories regarding the origin of the surname Chicken Pox. This concept goes the he believed since it to be a milder type of tiny Pox, it wasn’t as strong or together vicious. Therefore, it was “chicken.” If you’re curious, chicken, an interpretation “coward,” very first popped up roughly the 14th century.


However, offered that the an initial documented instance of “Chicken Pox” comes from the 1727 Chambers Encyclopedia– once Dr. Johnson would have been just 18 years old- if the “chicken/coward” concept is correct, we’re an ext than a little skeptical the the surname was believed up through him. The certain reference in the Chambers Encyclopedia states:

Chicken Pox, a cutaneous disease, constant in children, within the skin is covered with pustules like those of the little pox.

In 1767, Dr. Wilhelm Heberden, additionally hailing from England, made the discovery that Chicken Pox and small Pox are in fact, not from the same virus as previously thought.

This all brings us to concept number two. The center English language (12th-15th centuries) had actually the words “Yicche” or “Icchen” meaning, “to itch.” The Old English word because that “to itch” is “Giccan.” So the seems feasible that “Chicken Pox” might simply it is in a bastardized variation of “Giccan/Yicche/Icchen/Itching” + “Pox.”

Beyond those, human being have voiced theories that normally aren’t given as much credence, such as that the red clues look choose a chicken pecked the victim. One more idea is the they were called for your similarity in appearance come “chick peas” (a.k.a. “Garbanzo Beans” or “Ceci Beans”).

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Now let’s look in ~ the other word- “Pox.” Pox, which an initial popped up around the late 15th century, is simply an alternate method to order the plural of “pockes” (from “pocke”), which at some point derives native the Old English “pocc,” meaning “pustule, blister, ulcer.”

So relying on which the the two key theories you want to believe, Chicken Pox would certainly then either literally it is in “cowardly/lesser blisters” (as in a lesser kind of small Pox- i beg your pardon if you walk look at some pictures of those affected, Chicken Pox is definitely lesser). Alternatively, it could simply it is in a bastardized way of saying “Icchen (as in itchy) Blisters,” which because that those of united state who’ve had actually it, we deserve to all agree Chicken Pox is that. For this reason take her pick. There simply isn’t enough documented evidence for us to understand for certain on this one.

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