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Diseases » Chickenpox » Contagiousness

Is Chickenpox Contagious?

Transmission of Chickenpox from Person to Person

Chickenpox is considered to be contagious between people. Generally the infectious agent may be transmitted by saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc.
Chickenpox, although infectious, is not a genetic disease. It is not caused by a defective or abnormal gene.
The contagious disease, Chickenpox, can be transmitted:

  • from the mother to her fetus.
  • from person to person by saliva, air, coughing, contact, surfaces, fecal-oral route, etc.

Contagion summary:

Spread directly from infected persons; also spread by older people with shingles.

Contagiousness properties for Chickenpox:

  Contagious overall?: Yes

  Contagious by physical contact (non-sexual)?: Yes

  Contagious by touch?: Yes

Contagion summary:

The virus spread from person to person by direct contact, or through the air. Approximately 90% of persons in a household who have not had chickenpox will get it if exposed to an infected family member. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Chickenpox (Varicella): CDC-OC)

Discussion about Contagion of Chickenpox:

Facts About Chickenpox (Varicella): CDC-OC (Excerpt)

Chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Chickenpox (Varicella): CDC-OC)

Shots for Safety -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

Chickenpox - also known as varicella - is a very contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It is spread easily through the air by infected people when they sneeze or cough. The disease also spreads through contact with an infected person's chickenpox sores. People who have never had chickenpox can get infected just by being in the room with someone who has the disease. (Source: excerpt from Shots for Safety -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

About contagion and contagiousness:

Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Chickenpox is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.


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