How does chickenpox spread?
David Adam Perlstein, MD, FAAP
Medical Editor/Author, MedicineNet
Chickenpox is highly contagious. It is easily passed between members of families and school classmates through airborne particles, droplets in exhaled air, and fluid from blisters or sores. It also can be transmitted indirectly by contact with articles of clothing and other items exposed to fresh drainage from open sores. Patients are contagious up to five days (more commonly, one to two days) before and five days after the date that their rash appears. When all of the sores have crusted over, the person is usually no longer contagious.