Varicella zoster virus (Chicken Pox)


Airborne (N95) / Contact Precautions
Airborne (N95) / Contact Precautions

General Information

Associated syndromes

In healthy persons causes varicella (primary), or dermatomal (zoster) disease. Immunocompromised persons may have disseminated disease or multidermatomal zoster

Exposure to Varicella zoster virus (Chicken Pox) : Susceptible contact (seronegative or unimmunized) requires Airborne precautions from 8 days after first exposure until 21 days after last exposure (28 days if given VZIG)

Additional Information

Precautions are required until all lesions have crusted and dried (minimum 5 days from onset of rash)

Contagious 2 days before rash and until skin lesions have crusted.

Caregivers should be immune to chickenpox (vaccine or after wild-type infection).

Airborne and contact precautions should be taken with neonates born to mothers with varicella onset < 5 days before delivery.

Susceptible high-risk contacts should receive VZIG as soon as possible, within 96 hours of exposure. VZIG extends the incubation period to 28 days.

Varicella vaccine should be given to susceptible contacts within 5 days of exposure if no contraindications to vaccine.