Prevention and control measures for varicella

All pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals should avoid contact with anyone who is suffering from varicella or shingles.

Patients that do not remember having had the disease,  who are at high risk for severe varicella and complications and who have been exposed to varicella or herpes zoster may be offered varicella immunoglobulin, if available. The immunoglobulin should be given within 96 hours of contact. Consult a physician if you think you may belong to a risk group.

A vaccine is available which protects against the varicella virus; however policies on vaccine use vary across the EU. Varicella vaccination for all children is only recommended at national level in five countries (for the list of those countries see the ECDC vaccine scheduler). In most countries vaccination is available for adolescents without history of varicella and for the people who have higher risk of coming into contact with the varicella virus, like healthcare workers.