The Disease:

Until the late 1990s, there were about 4 million cases of chickenpox a year in the U.S. Symptoms include fever, aches and itchy rash. Usually mild and uncomfortable, chickenpox is rarely dangerous. Rarely, a child with this disease develops encephalitis (brain inflammation) or dies. Once contracted, the virus stays in a person’s body and can reappear later in life as a very painful disease, called zoster or shingles.

The Vaccine:

This live viral vaccine has been used in the U.S. since the mid-1990s and is effective in preventing chickenpox in 70 to 90 percent of recipients and severe chickenpox in over 95 percent. The vaccine can cause mild soreness or a few chickenpox near the injection site.


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A rash all over the body caused by the chickenpox virus. The chickenpox rash starts as small red bumps. The bumps change to blisters or pimples. The bumps change to open sores, and finally they scab over.
A doctor has told you that your child has chickenpox. Or your child had close contact with another person who has it (or shingles). The contact should be 10-21 days earlier.