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Varicella (Chickenpox)

Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.

The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.

Two doses of chickenpox vaccine are recommended for people who have not had disease.  Children should receive the first dose of vaccine at 12-15 months of age or at any age after that if they have never had chickenpox.  School-aged children should receive the second dose at age 4-6 years (it may be administered earlier provided that the interval between the first and second dose is at least 3 months).  People who do not get the vaccine until 13 years of age or older should get two doses, four to eight weeks apart.

View personal stories of someone affected by Chickenpox at ShotbyShot.org.

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Last modified on: 11/22/2013 1:54 PM