**to be put in a colored box running across the top of each VPD page**: Due to the COVID-19 response there has been a decline in the number of children receiving routine childhood vaccinations both nationally and globally. The delay in vaccinations may cause an increase in VPD cases. Please remain vigilant for vaccine-preventable diseases and report them to DPH.


Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a very contagious rash illness caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent chickenpox. 

Report Chickenpox Cases

All individual cases of chickenpox (varicella) should be reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Click below to learn more about how to report a case.



      Chickenpox Vaccine Information

      Vaccination is the best way to prevent chickenpox. Visit the Georgia Immunization Program webpage to learn more.




      Contact Information

      For questions about notifiable disease surveillance and reporting, call 1-866-PUB-HLTH or 404-657-2588. You can also contact your local health department.



      Chickenpox: Information for Me and My Family

      General information about chickenpox including disease description, complications, treatment, and prevention.

      • What is Chickenpox?
        • About Chickenpox
          General information from the CDC about chickenpox, including transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Also includes photos and kid-friendly fact sheet.
      • How is Chickenpox Prevented?
        • Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent chickenpox.
          • Children should get one chickenpox vaccination when they are 12 months old and another when they are four years old.
          • Healthy people 13 years and older who have never had chickenpox or been vaccinated should get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine four to eight weeks apart. 
        • Talk to your doctor and visit the Georgia Immunization Program website to learn more about vaccines for you and your family
        • The CDC Chickenpox Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) includes a description of the disease, who should get the vaccine and when, who should not be vaccinated, and potential side effects.
      • Why is Chickenpox Reported?
        • In July of 2011, individual cases of chickenpox became reportable in Georgia. This means that suspect cases of chickenpox are reported by doctors to the health department.
        • Health department staff follow-up with cases to collect information about who gets chickenpox and to provide prevention recommendations.
        • On a case-by-case basis, the health department is able to offer chickenpox testing and vaccination of household contacts.
        • Cases are also contacted to identify and stop the spread of chickenpox outbreaks.




        Chickenpox Information for Health Professionals

        Information on chickenpox for health professionals, including clinical features and epidemiology, how to report cases, vaccine information, and official recommendations.



          Chickenpox Information for Schools and Childcare Facilities

          Information on chickenpox for school health personnel and those in childcare settings.


            Chickenpox Statistics

            In July of 2011, individual cases of chickenpox became reportable in Georgia. Total case counts for chickenpox in Georgia since 2012 are displayed below. Case counts include the total number of confirmed and probable cases reported in Georgia residents.



            Case Classifications*

            • Probable: A case that meets the clinical case definition, is not laboratory confirmed, and is not epidemiologically linked to another probable or confirmed case**
            • Confirmed: A case that is laboratory confirmed or that meets the clinical case definition and is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed or probable case.

            *Cases are designated as confirmed or probable by the Georgia Department of Public Health

            **Two probable cases that are epidemiologically linked are considered confirmed, even in the absence of laboratory confirmation

            Page last updated 5/20/2020