A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop chickenpox with or without some of the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing chickenpox. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
If you are not immune to chickenpox, factors that will increase your risk of contracting the disease include:
Some populations are at a higher risk for chickenpox, these include:
If you are not immune to chickenpox, traveling abroad can increase your risk of contracting chickenpox. The disease is much more prevalent outside the United States due to much lower rates of vaccination.
Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/. Updated April 25, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.
Daley AJ, Thorpe S, Garland SM: Varicella and the pregnant woman: prevention and management.
Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008;48:26-33.
Varicella: historical perspective and clinical overview.
J Infect Dis. 1996;174(Suppl):S306-309.
Last reviewed March 2015 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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