Chickenpox is very contagious. If one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Chickenpox can also be serious, even life-threatening, especially in babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Before the vaccine was available, about 4 million people got chickenpox each year in the United States, over 10,500 of those people were hospitalized, and about 100-150 people died.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It can cause an itchy, blister-like rash. The rash appears first on the chest, back, and face, and then spreads over the entire body.
A fact sheet for parents that describes symptoms of infection as well as benefits and risks of vaccination.
Discover signs and symptoms, complications, transmission, prevention and treatment, and photos.
Find information about chickenpox vaccine, such as who should be vaccinated, vaccination options, and vaccine safety.
Learn more information about clinical features, complications, and assessing immunity to varicella.
See guidelines for collecting and shipping specimens to CDC lab and interpretation of laboratory tests.
Find information about chickenpox case and outbreak surveillance, investigation, and control.
Explore varicella-related chapters, guidelines, recommendations, and journal articles for clinicians.
Learn about the success and impact of the U.S. chickenpox vaccination program and related resources for patients and parents.