Find out how we define and monitor cases of chickenpox, how you can get vaccinated, and where you can learn more about this disease.

About chickenpox

Chickenpox is a very contagious infection caused by the varicella zoster virus. Most people with chickenpox have mild symptoms and recover quickly. In rare cases, the virus can cause serious complications such as pneumonia or meningitis. 

Disease type:
Vaccination available under NIP:
Notifiable disease:


Vaccination is the best protection against chickenpox.  If you're eligible, you can get chickenpox vaccines for free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). See more information about when to get vaccinated.

Since the chickenpox vaccine was added to the NIP, there have been far fewer hospitalisations and deaths due to chickenpox in Australia. Immunisation prevents most cases of chickenpox and reduces the chance of serious illness and complications. 


Find out more about getting vaccinated against chickenpox

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

For information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, see healthdirect's chickenpox page

Surveillance and reporting

Chickenpox is a nationally notifiable disease

We monitor cases through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS).

For more on chickenpox in Australia, you can search Communicable Diseases Intelligence.  

Date last updated:

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