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Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.  The virus causes an itchy rash of spots that look like blisters and can be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Chickenpox is very contagious.

Chickenpox used to be a common illness among children in the United States.   However, because most children now receive the varicella vaccine it is much less common.  Vaccinated children who do get chickenpox tend to have milder cases and quicker recoveries compared to those who contract the virus and aren't immunized.

Click here to see a picture of chickenpox and learn about prevention, treatment and comfort measures. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services requires that children with chickenpox be excluded from school until either:

  1. The lesions are dry
  2. The lesions are not blister-like and 24 hours have passed with no new lesions occurring