Chickenpox is a common childhood illness that causes an itchy, blistering rash. It is very easily spread both through the air, when someone coughs or sneezes, and through contact with the fluid in the blisters.  If one child in your household gets it, it is almost certain that any others who have not had chickenpox, or been vaccinated against it, will get it.

Prevention

The best prevention is to be immunised. Children from 9 months of age can have the chickenpox immunisation.  From 1 July 2017 the chickenpox immunisation will be on the national immunisation schedule and will be given at 15 months of age.  

If you suspect your child may have chickenpox contact your family doctor or call healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice from a registered nurse.

Further information

Up-to-date information on chickenpox is available by visiting the websites.

Last updated 23 May 2017.