Questions & Answers
Chickenpox - The Disease
Back to Parent Q&A Category Back to All Chickenpox Q&A Back to All Q&A Back to Chickenpox


  1. How serious is chickenpox?
    Many cases of chickenpox are mild, but deaths from chickenpox can occur. Before the development of a vaccine, about 100 people died every year in the United States from chickenpox. Most of these people were previously healthy. Chickenpox also accounted for about 11,000 hospitalizations each year. Even children with average cases of chickenpox are uncomfortable and need to be kept out of daycare or school for a week or more.

  2. What are possible complications from chickenpox?

    The most common complication is bacterial infection of the skin or other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, joints, and blood. The virus can also lead to pneumonia or infection of the brain. These complications are rare but serious. Complications are more common in infants, adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

    Chickenpox poses a significant threat to immunocompromised people. The best way to prevent infection in each patient is by immunizing susceptible family members and close contacts of the person.