Chicken pox(or varicella) is a highly infectious disease. It is caused by Varicella-Zoster (V-Z) virus. It is characterized by vesicular rash which may be accompanied by fever and malaise.


Chicken pox primarily occurs in children under 10 years of age. The source of infection is a case of chicken pox. It is transmit­ted by droplet infection and droplet nuclei. Also it can be transmit­ted by personal contact. It can also cross the placental barrier and infect the fetus (Congenital varicella). The route of entry of the virus is the respiratory tract.

Control and prevention


There is no specific treatment for chicken pox. Control meas­ures are:

1. Notification

2. Isolation for 6 days after the onset of rash.

3. Disinfection of articles contaminated by nose and throat discharges.


For prevention, varicella zoster immunoglobulin can be given. It is given within 72 hours of exposure.