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Molluscum – Overview

December 6, 2021


Molluscum is a common viral skin infection caused by a pox virus, unrelated to chickenpox. It’s common in babies, toddlers and school-aged children. The virus is transmitted from skin to skin or skin to water to skin, which is why it’s also called “water warts.” In fact, swimmers are susceptible to molluscum not because of their time in the water, but because they might share towels or equipment. There’s no clear evidence that the molluscum contagiosum virus can be spread in chlorinated water like that in swimming pools. You or your child can get it by touching someone who has it. It’s also spread by touching an object that has been touched by someone who has it. Molluscum has a very long incubation period. In fact, a person can be infected for up to two years. That’s why they can spread the disease to others. The virus stays on the skin and does not go any deeper into the body. Anyone can get molluscum. Fortunately, it’s extremely rare to get it twice. Since 95% of people have antibodies, everyone has been exposed to it at some point. However, if you’re immunocompromised, you’ll have a worse case of it if you do catch it.

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