Chickenpox (Varicella) - Exams and Tests
Chickenpox usually can be diagnosed based on how the
chickenpox rash looks. For a healthy child, describing the
rash over the phone to a doctor (rather than visiting the office)
may be all you need to do.
Anyone who is over age 12, or pregnant, or has a weak immune system needs to be checked by a doctor as soon as you suspect chickenpox. When given right away, treatment can help prevent serious complications. For more information, see When to Call a Doctor.
At the doctor's office, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will examine you. This usually gives your doctor enough information to find out if you have chickenpox.
Chickenpox during pregnancy
woman who has had chickenpox early in her pregnancy may want to have her
fetus checked for birth defects. This can be done with
fetal ultrasound during the second trimester.
Find out if you are immune
If you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine(What is a PDF document?), you have no immunity against the virus. This means that the virus can make you sick—you can get chickenpox.
If you need to make sure you're immune to the chickenpox virus, a viral test can tell you. It makes sense to get a viral test if you aren't sure you're immune and you:
- Plan to or can possibly become pregnant. Having chickenpox immunity prevents
complications of chickenpox during pregnancy.
- Are more likely than normal to get severely ill
from chickenpox or to have
complications of chickenpox.
- Are required to prove chickenpox immunity for work or school.