Chickenpox has traditionally been viewed as an irritating but inevitable infection to be endured during childhood, a rite of passage during the preschool years.
This benign view persists despite evidence that certain groups, including neonates, adults, pregnant women and the immunocompromised, have higher risk of severe disease.
Few data on incidence of severe complications and death in children are available; such information might change our view of the disease, especially considering that such morbidity and mortality may now be regarded as vaccine- preventable.
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