Contact Information
Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Immunization Program
3530 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone: (213) 351-7800
Fax: (213) 351-2780

Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Unit
Phone: (213) 351-7400
Fax: (213) 351-2781

Varicella (chickenpox) is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus can be spread by respiratory droplets, such as from coughs or sneezes, or by direct contact, such as from blisters on the skin. Persons exposed to chickenpox may develop symptoms 10–21 days after they are exposed. The most common symptoms of chickenpox are rash (with blisters), fever, coughing, fussiness, headache, and loss of appetite. 

Most people think of chickenpox as a mild disease — and, for most children, it is. Chickenpox usually lasts about one-and-a-half to two weeks and rarely causes complications. But the disease can be serious, especially in adults. There's no way to know which infected child or adult will develop a severe case.

In addition, years after having chickenpox, people can have shingles (also known as herpes zoster). Shingles is a more localized painful rash, often with blisters, on one specific area of the body. It can cause severe pain, which usually clears up in a few weeks or months but can last for years.

The chickenpox vaccine is a safe, effective way to prevent chickenpox and its possible complications. Two doses 3 or more months apart are recommended for all age groups. In the small number of cases when the vaccine doesn't prevent chickenpox completely, the infection is much milder than the infections that put most U.S. children into bed for a week years ago. (Source: )

Information and Resources for Families Information and Resources for Providers
Reporting Guidelines and Resources Alerts, Updates, and Reports

Report hospitalized and fatal cases of varicella to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

Business Hours: 
Phone: (888) 397-3993 Fax: (888) 397-3778 

After Business Hours 
Phone: (213) 974-1234

Laboratory Testing Guidelines For
Measles and Mumps
It's Flu Season
Immunization Skills Institute
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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