Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).  The biggest risk factors are not being vaccinated and never having chickenpox before. Symptoms of chickenpox include itchy, blister-like rash on chest, back, face, body (shingles), fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, headache, and skin infections.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why is it called chickenpox?

  • The red spots were once thought to look like chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
  • Chickenpox rash looks like peck marks from chickens (chickenpox cannot be caught from a chicken).

What is shingles?
If you have had chickenpox before...

  • Varicella-zoster virus remains in nerve cells.
  • Virus can reactivate and resurface as painful, short-lived blisters.
  • Virus generally reappears in older adults and people with weaker immune systems.
The Varivax Vaccination