Control & Investigation of Varicella Outbreaks
To improve existing knowledge about the epidemiology of varicella and to have a basis for refining varicella vaccination policy, it is important to monitor and investigate varicella outbreaks.
Strategies for the Control and Investigation of Varicella Outbreaks Manual
The manual provides guidance in the control and investigation of varicella outbreaks. With input from state and local public health departments, CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) developed this guidance in 2008 and is currently updating it. Following these guidelines, public health officials can identify appropriate responses to reports of varicella cases to determine if an outbreak exists and, if so, to evaluate its scope and to implement control measures appropriate in the outbreak setting.
The guidelines are provided in 9 sections, with a large appendix offering useful samples as well as a thorough reference section.
Review varicella epidemiology and the impact of the varicella vaccination program, vaccine recommendations, school immunization requirements, and the importance of data from varicella outbreak surveillance and investigations.
Find information on the clinical presentation of varicella disease in unvaccinated and vaccinated persons, clinical presentation of shingles, and vaccine effectiveness and efficacy of 1 and 2 doses of varicella vaccine.
Learn about ongoing varicella surveillance activities and recommendations for varicella case-based surveillance and outbreak surveillance. For additional resources, see VZV Surveillance.
- Case Definition and Classifications
Find case definitions and classifications for varicella disease and varicella-related deaths, as well as the laboratory criteria for a varicella diagnosis.
- Laboratory Diagnosis of Varicella
Identify when varicella cases should be laboratory confirmed and when VZV genotyping is important. For more information, see VZV Laboratory Testing.
Refer to resources on varicella vaccine recommendations and reporting of adverse events.
Review strategies for controlling varicella outbreaks and preventing further spread of disease.
View or download a varicella outbreak reporting worksheet; samples of an exposure letter, a survey to identify varicella cases, letters of notification of a varicella outbreak, a case investigation form, and varicella surveillance worksheet.
- Page last reviewed: July 1, 2016
- Page last updated: July 1, 2016
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