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Varicella is a common exanthematous disease that primarily affects children. In general, clinicians are very familiar with the clinical presentation of this disease, but in the last several years, fewer and fewer cases have been seen and diagnosed. This is due primarily to the development of a safe and effective vaccine, which has been studied extensively. In the future, primary care clinicians will see less of this disease, although the potential severity of disease and associated risk of morbidity and mortality necessitate a continued awareness of the clinical features and risk of complications. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have set a goal for more than 90% of American children to be immunized against varicella by the year 2010.

Chickenpox is the clinical syndrome...

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