Varicella (Chickenpox) Disease
What is Varicella?
- Varicella, also known as chickenpox, is a contagious disease that causes an itchy rash of blisters.
- A person with chickenpox may have as many as 500 blisters.
- The rash can spread over the whole body.
- Chickenpox can be serious and life-threatening especially to babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
What are the symptoms?
- The most common symptom of chickenpox is the itchy rash of blisters that can appear all over the body.
- Other symptoms can occur 1-2 days before there rash appears.
- Those symptoms include:
How does Chickenpox spread?
- Chickenpox spreads easily, by having direct contact with a person with the disease.
- It can also spread by touching the blisters of a person who has chickenpox.
- It can also spread through tiny droplets that get into the air when someone who has chickenpox breathes or talks.
- Chickenpox can spread as early as 1 to 2 days before the infected person's rash appears to until all the blisters have formed scabs.
Where can I find more information?
- Ask your doctor, or contact your local county health department
- Email the Alabama Department of Public Health, Immunization Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Go to cdc.gov and type 'Varicella' in the SEARCH box.
- Read, print, and share our Varicella Fast Fact Flyer to learn more about pertussis disease and vaccines.
- Varicella and Breakthrough Varicella presentation
- Varicella & Shingles: Overview of VZV Disease and Vaccination for Healthcare Providers presentation
- Varicella Vaccine Information Statement
Page last updated: November 17, 2017