Chickenpox (Varicella)

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Chickenpox, or varicella, is a common childhood infection caused by a virus. Read about vaccines and treating chickenpox at home.

Key points

  • Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
  • Chickenpox is characterized by a fever followed a day or two later by an itchy rash.
  • Chickenpox spreads easily either through direct contact or through tiny droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • There is a vaccine that can prevent chickenpox.
Last updated: December 16th 2009