Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox is caused by the highly contagious varicella zoster virus. It is spread by coughing and sneezing, and by direct contact with skin lesions. Chickenpox can lead to severe complications, including bacterial infection of the skin from the lesions, swelling of the brain, and pneumonia. Adults are at greater risk for severe complications from chickenpox than children. 

Once a person has had chickenpox, the virus can reactivate later in life to cause a painful condition called shingles, marked by a blistering rash. 

Learn more about chickenpox and the vaccine to prevent it.


Resources

Adolescent Vaccination Recommendation: Chickenpox

adolescentvaccination.org

CDC Features: Chickenpox

Chickenpox - Also Known as Varicella

In-depth information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics

Chickenpox - Information for Parents

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

CDC

Shingles Information

National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

Varicela - Informacion para los padres

Chickenpox information in Spanish for parents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics

Varicella-Zoster Virus and HIV: Related Resources

UCSF