A 12 year old Daytona Beach boy died at home recently. The Volusia County Health Department and the Volusia County Medical Examiner are conducting an investigation to determine if chicken pox was the cause of death. While rare, chicken pox can cause death in some children. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there were 8 recorded fatal cases of chicken pox between January 2003 and June 2004.
I suspect that the medical examiner will complete an autopsy to determine the cause of death which will include blood tests and other laboratory and pathology testing.
While chicken pox is a common childhood ailment, parents should consult a pediatrician regularly when there is an outbreak to make sure that all steps are taken to meet the medical needs of the child. It is also helpful for parents to educate themselves as much as possible regarding chicken pox and other childhood ailments. You can read more about the Daytona Beach story at Florida Child May Have Died from Chicken Pox.