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Varicella (Chickenpox) in Florida

Florida Health

Disease Control

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting health care seeking behavior, which may be impacting the diagnosis and reporting of varicella cases that are shown in this report. For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, please visit

December Key Points

51 Cases
No new
<1 year olds had the
highest incidence rate
63% cases not
up-to-date or
unknown vaccinations status

The number of varicella cases reported in December 2021 increased from the previous month and was below the previous 5-year average. Due to robust vaccination programs, there is no longer discernable seasonality for varicella cases in the United States.

A graph showing a summary of varicella cases reported by month in 2021 as compared to the previous 5-year average. In December 2021, 51 cases of varicella were reported, which is below the previous 5-year average.

In December 2021, 51 varicella cases were reported in 21 counties, outlined in black in the map below. From October 2021 through December 2021 the average county rates varied throughout the state.

A map showing the previous 3-month average varicella rates per 100,000 population. Counties with one or more cases reported in December are  Alachua Brevard Broward Collier Miami-Dade Escambia Hillsborough Lake Lee Leon Manatee Marion Martin Okaloosa Orange Palm Beach Pinellas Polk St. Lucie Seminole Volusia    Counties with a rate of 0.06-0.11 per 100,000 population are:   Pasco Sarasota Manatee Osceola Hillsborough Orange Pinellas    Counties with a rate of 0.12-0.48 per 100,000 population are:    Leon Lake Duval Broward Escambia Volusia St. Johns Alachua Collier Palm Beach Miami-Dade Lee St. Lucie Brevard Marion Seminole Polk Columbia       Counties with a rate of 0.49-.87 per 100,000 population are:   Gadsden Okaloosa Martin Monroe

In 2021, 381 varicella cases were reported in 38 counties. The annual number of reported varicella cases decreased from 2016 to 2017. In 2020 and 2021, case counts are mostly lower than those seen in previous years at this time.

A graph showing a summary of the total number of varicella cases reported by year with an emphasis on 2019. In total for each year there have been: 733 in 2016; 656 in 2017; 853 in 2018; 984 in 2019; 345 in 2020; and 381 in 2021.

In December, the varicella rate was highest among infants <1 year old at 3.4 cases per 100,000 population, which is consistent with previous months. infants <1 year old are too young to receive varicella vaccination, which is why vaccination of siblings, parents, grandparents and other age groups is important in infection prevention among infants.

In December, 5 cases were transmitted within households and no cases were outbreak-associated. For most varicella cases, exposure to other known cases is not identified. In Florida, transmission setting is not routinely identified for non-outbreak cases, resulting in 64% of cases reporting unknown setting in December.

People with shingles infection can transmit the virus that causes varicella to people without immunity. In December, 2 cases reported having contact with someone diagnosed with shingles during their exposure period

A graph showing a bar graph of total cases compared to household associated cases and outbreak associated cases for December 2021 and the previous 3-month average. In December 2021, 5 household-associated cases were identified.

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