Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Risk Factors for Chickenpox

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Risk Factors for Chickenpox

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get chickenpox with or without the risk factors listed below. The chances of getting it are greater in people who have many.

Chickenpox is more common in children who are younger than 10 years old. It is also more common in winter and spring.

People have a greater chance of getting it when they have direct contact with a person infected with the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

Chickenpox is not usually serious in children. It may be more severe in:

  • Children less than 1 year old and over 15 years old
  • Any person with immune system problems
  • A mother who is exposed to VZV during pregnancy
  • An unborn baby exposed to VZV


  • Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chickenpox.
  • Chickenpox. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/chickenpox.
  • Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox.
  • Kennedy PGE, Gershon AA. Clinical features of varicella-zoster virus infection. Viruses. 2018;10(11):609.


  • April Scott, NP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.