Varicella (Chicken Pox)

Varicella (chickenpox) is an acute, highly infectious disease caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), a herpes virus. It is a common childhood infection. The virus is transmitted via person to person contact and airborne spread of respiratory secretions/vesicular fluid.Infected individuals infectious 1-2 days before the rash and until all lesions crusted (4 - 7 days).

Signs and symptoms

  • Generally mild illness in children, more severe in adults.
  • Majority of infections are symptomatic although may be very mild and unrecognised.
  • Flu-like symptoms 1 - 2 days (may be absent in children).
  • Characteristic rash often begins on face/scalp then spreads to trunk:
    • Centripetal distribution, hands/feet usually spared - may involve eyes, mouth, intestines and lungs.
    • Lesions evolve from macules - papules - vesicles - pustules - scabs in successive crops - lesions of different stages visible in same area maybe few lesions or several hundred.


  • Majority of cases require no treatment.
  • Antihistamines may relieve pruritus.
  • Antivirals (acyclovir, valaciclovir, famciclovir) reduce duration of fever and rash if given early, may be used IV if risk of severe disease.
  • Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin (VZIG) may be used for passive immunization in non-immune high risk subjects after potential exposure. 

Recommended for travellers

Chickenpox vaccination is not routinely used in travellers. However, those travelling for education/employment to the US or Canada maybe asked for proof of vaccination or immunity.

We provide vaccinations by appointment at our clinics in Farnborough in Hampshire and Woking in Surrey. If inconvenient, please contact us to take advantage of our Mobile Clinic service.

Dosage and pricing

Two dose course.

The price is £75 per dose.

To make an appointment click here

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