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JAMA Patient Page
February 18, 2004

Chickenpox

JAMA. 2004;291(7):906. doi:10.1001/jama.291.7.906

Chickenpox is a highly contagious and common childhood disease caused by a virus in the herpes family of viruses called the varicella virus. The varicella virus can remain in the body for decades and become active again in adults, causing herpes zoster (shingles). Shingles involves the occurrence of painful skin sores along the distribution of nerves across the trunk or face. The February 18, 2004, issue of JAMA includes an article about the effectiveness of the varicella vaccine in preventing chickenpox.

To find this and other JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA's Web site at http://www.jama.com. Many are available in English and Spanish.

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