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Vaccines Health Center

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Chickenpox (Varicella) - Exams and Tests

Chickenpox usually can be diagnosed based on how the chickenpox rash camera.gif 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

A woman who has had chickenpox early in her pregnancy may want to have her fetus checked for birth defects. This can be done with a fetal ultrasound during the second trimester.

Find out if you are immune

If you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, 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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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