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Varicella , commonly called chickenpox, is a highly contagious infection. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). It produces an itchy rash. It can cause serious complications, especially in adults, newborns, or people with suppressed immune systems.
VZV spreads from person to person by:
- Airborne droplets of moisture that contain the virus
- Direct contact with fluid from a varicella rash
It is most contagious just after the rash has broken out. It is also contagious 1-2 days before the rash erupts and until all of the blisters have crusted.
Varicella occurs most often in the late winter and early spring. It is most common in children. Peak incidence happens between ages 5-9 years. Others at risk include:
- People who have not been vaccinated and have been in...