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What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a highly infectious childhood disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a form of the herpes virus.
What causes chickenpox?
Chickenpox is extremely contagious. It spreads from person to person by direct contact or through the air.
Is chickenpox common?
More than 95 percent of American adults have had chickenpox and about 4,000,000 people get chickenpox every year. Since the chickenpox vaccine was introduced in 1995, less and less children are getting the disease.
What are the symptoms of chickenpox?
Symptoms are usually mild among children, but may be life-threatening to infants, adults and people with weak immune systems. While symptoms vary from child to child, the most common include:
Infants, adults and people with weak immune systems who get chickenpox are at risk for serious complications. They include:
Can chickenpox be prevented?
Since 1995, a chickenpox vaccine has been available for children 12 months of age and older. The vaccine has proven very effective in preventing severe chickenpox. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 15 to 20 percent of people who have received one dose of chickenpox vaccine do still get chickenpox, but experience a mild case. Children who received two doses of the vaccine were three times less likely to get the disease than those who only had one dose.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”