Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Diagnosis of Chickenpox

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Chickenpox is usually diagnosed based on the rash. Blood and laboratory tests to identify the varicella zoster virus (VZV) are available for use in questionable cases, but they are rarely necessary.

Blood and laboratory tests—several tests are available that may help confirm the diagnosis of chickenpox, including:

  • Skin smear to infer the presence of chickenpox virus by staining
  • Skin smear to detect chickenpox viral proteins using immunofluorescence
  • Blood test to detect the presence and measure the amounts of antibodies to chickenpox virus
  • Viral culture
REFERENCES:

Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116084/Chickenpox. Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Chickenpox. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chickenpox.html. Updated January 2017. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Chickenpox (varicella). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox. Updated June 28, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2018.

Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardJames P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 3/15/2015