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A county in the western part of Indiana is the site of the nation's largest current chickenpox outbreak, according to news reports. Vigo County has seen 84 cases of the varicella-zoster virus -- marked by itchy blisters on the body, fever, stomach ache and headache -- since September, the Terra Haute Tribune-Star reported. "Vigo County usually has less than 10 cases a year; however, since the end of September, Vigo County has reported 84 cases which would meet the definition of an unusual occurrence of disease," Dr. Joan Duwve, M.D., of the Indiana State Department of Health, told the Tribune-Star. "Prompt identification, investigation and control of chickenpox outbreaks are important. Even mild cases can be contagious." Chickenpox is usually not dangerous for people who contract it. However, adults and older children who get chickenpox may have more serious complications as a result than younger children, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. People who are immunocompromised may also experience more severe symptoms.
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