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 an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus and can be prevented by having your child vaccinated.
  • Chickenpox is characterized by a fever followed a day or two later by an itchy rash with fluid-filled blisters.
  • Chickenpox spreads easily either through direct contact or through tiny droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • Chickenpox can be severe in young infants and adults. People of all ages are more at risk for secondary bacterial infections if they get chickenpox.
Last updated: July 3rd 2024