George Ezra has has had to reschedule a string of live dates after falling ill with chickenpox.
The Shotgun singer shared a video on Twitter in which he showed fans the spotty rash that had spread across his face, shoulders and upper chest.
The 28-year-old was due to perform at the London Palladium, Manchester Opera House and Edinburgh Usher Hall in the coming days, but the shows will now take place in April.
In his video, the singer and guitarist said: “As you can see, I have got chicken pox [sic], which I never had as a kid – and it is miserable.
“It is all the fatigue and fever of the virus but you also want to scratch your skin all the time.
“What this means is that I can’t perform at the upcoming shows in Manchester, Edinburgh and London, which I am absolutely gutted about.
“Recording this video is the last thing I want to be doing.
“Even on a selfish level, I’ve not performed since 2019 and I was so much looking forward to getting back up there and swinging my hips – but it’s just not going to happen.”
Chickenpox in adults
Chickenpox is a contagious illness, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which leads to an itchy, spotty rash.
While most people have chickenpox as a child, with nine in 10 people having had it by the age of 15 years, you can catch chickenpox at any age. It is, however, uncommon in adults.
Symptoms of chickenpox are usually more severe in adults than in children and according to Patient.info can include:
High temperature (fever), aches and headache, which often start a day or so before a rash appears.
Spots (a rash) which appear in crops. The spots develop into small blisters and are itchy. They can be anywhere on the body and sometimes also in the mouth.
Loss of appetite, tiredness and feeling sick are common.
“The symptoms of chickenpox in adults are pretty identical to when children catch the disease,” explains Hussain Abdeh, clinical director at Medicine Direct. “However, it is often much worse for adults and the symptoms are likely to be more severe.
“The typical red spots associated with chickenpox will appear, but they are normally much worse than in the case of children.”
Abdeh says spots typically appear on the face and chest, eventually spreading all over the body.
“These spots eventually become itchy blisters,” he continues. “These blisters weep and turn into sores. Although these sores will heal, they first form crusts; adults can expect to suffer more than 250 blisters on their bodies.”
Watch: George Ezra takes up birdwatching
In the case of adult chickenpox, symptoms similar to the flu are also likely to appear before the rash.
“Most adults can expect to suffer headaches, fever, fatigue and aches a couple of days before getting a rash,” Abdeh continues.
The number of blisters and sores caused by adult chickenpox, makes them more vulnerable to bacterial infections in the skin, bones, or soft tissue, explains Abdeh.
“Sepsis is a potential risk, as is dehydration,” he says. “In rarer cases, chickenpox can lead to toxic shock syndrome due to bacteria entering the body via the sores and releasing toxins. Although toxic shock syndrome is rare, this can be a life-threatening problem.”
Patient.info suggests seeing a doctor if you develop any worrying symptoms that you are unsure about, such as:
Pains or headaches which become worse despite taking paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Being unable to take fluids, due to a severe rash in the mouth.
A very severe rash, or a rash which bruises or bleeds into the skin.
Becoming generally more and more unwell.
In general, complications with adult chickenpox are uncommon. However, some people have a higher risk of developing complications from chickenpox, including those who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems and people with heart or lung disease.
According to the NHS, if you do get chickenpox when you’re pregnant, there’s a small risk of your baby being very ill when he or she is born, so always seek medical advice early on.
Treatment for chickenpox
The NHS has put together some advice for treating chickenpox at home including drinking plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration, taking paracetamol to help with pain and discomfort, and speaking to a pharmacist about using antihistamine medicine to help itching.
Bathing in cool water, wearing loose clothing and using cooling creams or gels from a pharmacy are also recommended.
Additional reporting PA.