Varicella (Chickenpox)

Chickenpox is more than just a childhood disease. While the symptoms are usually mild in children, college students may be 10 times more likely than children to develop serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. Each year, approximately 11,000 people are hospitalized and 100 die due to chickenpox.

Chickenpox may spread more easily in a college living environment, and college students are considered to be more susceptible to the disease. As with hepatitis B, health sciences students are at particular risk of exposure to chickenpox through patient care and furthermore may transmit the infection to patients at high risk of complications. A vaccine is available to prevent chickenpox, and the CDC and ACHA recommend all college students who have not had chickenpox be vaccinated against the disease. If your child has not had chickenpox, it is strongly recommended by health officials that he or she get vaccinated.

Varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccines are available at the University of Miami Student Health Service.