NHS Service

How does chickenpox kill?

How does chickenpox kill?


Chickenpox is not usually known as a killer disease but in some serious cases, it can cause complications and occasionally even death.  The illness is mainly viewed as a childhood illness but if it is contracted during adulthood, it can be far more severe and may be fatal if it develops in late pregnancy.  The chickenpox vaccination can protect infants, children and adults against chickenpox and any subsequent problems associated with the disease.

Who else is vulnerable to dangerous and potentially fatal complications with chickenpox?

  • Children and adults who are born with a poorly functioning immune system
  • Patients receiving treatment for cancer
  • Patients who are receiving medication as part of treatment designed to suppress the immune system

Chickenpox vaccination essentially removes the possibility of rare or potentially fatal complications with this illness.

What is the Varicella vaccine?

The chickenpox vaccination protects against the Varicella zoster virus which is the virus that causes chickenpox hence the vaccination is sometimes labelled the Varicella vaccineThe chickenpox vaccination is given in early infancy roundabout the same time as the MMR vaccine so 12 months of age with a booster between age three to five.  The Varicella vaccine is a live viral vaccine and about 5% of children who are vaccinated will develop a mild chickenpox rash and perhaps a high temperature.

Does vaccination prevent chickenpox?

The chickenpox vaccination is safe and effective at preventing the disease.  Most people who get vaccinated will not get chickenpox, the few that do will have a much milder form of the disease with few or no blisters and spots and there will be no fever.  Anyone can have the chickenpox vaccination if they have never been vaccinated or had chickenpox, adult or child.  Two doses of the vaccine are required.

For more information about the chickenpox vaccination contact Touchwood Pharmacy who can provide information and also advice about how to manage children who have developed chickenpox.  Visit our website to learn more https://www.touchwoodpharmacy.com/