Varicella (Chickenpox)

Overview of Varicella (Chickenpox) in Healthcare Settings

Varicella (i.e., chickenpox) is a highly contagious disease caused by varicella zoster
virus (VZV). Transmission of Varicella within healthcare facilities is well recognized, and guidelines for the prevention of nosocomial VZV infection previously have been published. Sources for healthcare-associated exposure have included patients, hospital staff, and visitors (e.g., the children of hospital employees) who are infected with varicella or herpes zoster. In hospitals, airborne transmission of VZV has been demonstrated when varicella has occurred in susceptible persons who have had no direct contact with the index case-patient.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the principal agency in the United States government for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services, especially for those people who are least able to help themselves.

Since it was founded in 1946 to help control malaria, CDC has remained at the forefront of public health efforts to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities and environmental health threats.