As one attack of varicella usually confers an active immunity for the balance of life it is probable that antibodies to the virus persist for long periods of time in the body fluids. Few persons possess a natural immunity to this disease as the majority of those escaping infection in childhood contract the disease later in life.

Clinical experience and experimental data indicate quite conclusively that the virus of this disease is present in the skin lesions as in variola; while the exact mode of transmission is unknown, the consensus of opinion is to the effect that the virus is inspired and in this manner reaches the body fluids and later the skin for which the virus apparently possesses a selective tissue affinity.

The diagnosis of varicella usually presents no difficulties on account of the mildness of the general reaction and the more or less typical appearance of the cutaneous lesions.

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