Contagious: Chickenpox


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About contagion: Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Chickenpox is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.

Contagion summary: Spread directly from infected persons; also spread by older people with shingles.


Contagiousness properties of Chickenpox:
  Contagious overall?: Yes
  Contagious by physical contact (non-sexual)?: Yes
  Contagious by touch?: Yes

Contagion summary: The virus spread from person to person by direct contact, or through the air. Approximately 90% of persons in a household who have not had chickenpox will get it if exposed to an infected family member. 1

Contagion discussion: Chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs.1

Chickenpox - also known as varicella - is a very contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It is spread easily through the air by infected people when they sneeze or cough. The disease also spreads through contact with an infected person's chickenpox sores. People who have never had chickenpox can get infected just by being in the room with someone who has the disease.2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Facts About Chickenpox (Varicella): CDC-OC
2. excerpt from Shots for Safety - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: October 23, 2003

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