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How does chickenpox (varicella) virus spread?

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The illness is highly contagious and without the vaccine, it can be spread by direct contact or through the air by sneezing or coughing. Also, someone can get it by coming in contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. For that reason, children with chickenpox need to be kept out of school or day care for a week or more until all blisters have dried and crusted over. The illness causes an itchy rash that usually forms between 200 and 500 blisters over the entire body, headaches, coughing, and fussiness. So even if the illness is mild, it still means five to 10 days of being uncomfortable.

From: Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Chickenpox Vaccine."

Immunization Action Committee: "Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine: Questions & Answers."

CDC web site: "Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine Q & A."

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on June 18, 2018

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "Chickenpox Vaccine."

Immunization Action Committee: "Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine: Questions & Answers."

CDC web site: "Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine Q & A."

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on June 18, 2018

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Why do most states require children to show evidence of immunity from chickenpox (varicella)?

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