Chickenpox is now so rare in the US that doctors are misdiagnosing it half the time

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

Thanks to a successful vaccination campaign starting in 1995, chickenpox is now so rare in the US that doctors are misdiagnosing it half the time, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health:

The country’s nationwide childhood vaccination effort reduced case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths in under 20-year-olds by more than 97 percent.


Some people who have been vaccinated against chickenpox can still get the disease, usually with milder fevers and fewer or no blisters, just red spots. This occurs more often in people who’ve only had one dose of the vaccine, not the recommended two.

Since the milder-looking ‘breakthrough’ chickenpox looks different to what doctors might be expecting of the once-rampant childhood disease, it can be difficult to diagnose just by looking at the red rash or spots.


The investigation found that of 420 patients with a suspected chickenpox infection who provided specimens to MDH’s labs between December 2016 and March 2023, only 37 percent tested positive for varicella-zoster — the virus that causes chickenpox.

One-fifth of those positive cases were examples of ‘breakthrough’ chickenpox, having received at least one dose of the chickenpox vaccine, and around half of the patients tested by MDH were fully or partially vaccinated.

More specifically, among 208 patients whose doctors suspected they had chickenpox after examining them at a medical facility, only 45 percent (or 95 people) tested positive for the disease. Another 26 people tested positive for an enterovirus, and a sole person was found to have HSV-1, a different type of herpes virus related to chickenpox.


  1. Natureboi says:

    According to Journal of Infectious Diseases Aug 2000, there were only 100 deaths a year from varicella before the vaccine was licensed. Almost all varicella deaths are of unhealthy adults, not otherwise healthy children.

    Sounds like the vaccine is bullshit.

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