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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: var'i-sel'a


An acute contagious disease, usually occurring in children, caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus genus, Varicellovirus, a member of the family Herpesviridae, and marked by a sparse eruption of papules, which become vesicles and then pustules, like that of smallpox although less severe and varying in stages, usually with mild constitutional symptoms; incubation period is about 14–17 days.

Synonym(s): chickenpox

[Mod. L. dim. of variola]

See Also: herpes zoster

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.