Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. The rash appears first on the stomach, back and face and can spread over the entire body causing between 250 and 500 itchy blisters. Chickenpox can be serious, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. The best way to prevent chickenpox is to get the chickenpox vaccine.
- Blister-like rash
- Fever that lasts about 4 to 6 days
Certain groups of people are more likely to have more severe illness with serious complications. These include adult, infants, adolescents, pregnant women, and people have a weakened immune system. If anyone develops symptoms that look like chickenpox, contact your health care provider.
It is spread from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing and sneezing. Chickenpox can be spread for 1-2 days before rash starts and until all blisters are crusted or no new lesions appear within a 24-hour period. It takes between 10-21 days after contact with an infected person for someone to develop chickenpox.
If I have been vaccinated, can I still get chickenpox?
Yes. About 15%–20% of people who have received one dose of chickenpox vaccine do still get chickenpox if they are exposed, but their disease is usually mild. Two doses of varicella vaccine are now routinely recommended. The first dose can be given at 12 months of age and the second dose between 4-6 years of age.
The number of varicella cases reportedin February decreased from last month and was slightly below theprevious 5-year average. In general, more varicella cases are reported during the late winter and summer months.
From January 1, 2019 through February 28, 2019,153 varicella caseswere reported in 28 counties.
The annual number of reported varicella cases decreased from 2015 to 2017. Case counts in February 2019 are similar to those seen in February of previous years, as noted by the white bar in the figure.
In February,16 (24%)of68 total caseswere associated withtransmission within householdsand no cases wereoutbreak associated.cases wereoutbreak associated. For most varicella cases, exposure to other known cases is never identified, and they are not able to be linked to outbreaks.
The 68 varicella cases in February were reported among the 21 counties outlined in black. From December 2018 through February 2019 the average county rate varied throughout the state.
No varicella outbreaks were reported in February.
So far in 2019, no new varicella outbreaks have been reported.
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