U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for detaining unauthorized aliens during immigration proceedings. During 2014 to 2015, adult ICE detainees at a California facility were invited to complete a survey concerning self-reported varicella history and risk factors. Participants underwent serological testing for varicella-zoster virus (VZV) IgG; susceptible individuals were offered varicella vaccination. Among 400 detainees with available serology results, 48 (12%) were susceptible to varicella. Self-reported varicella history was negatively associated with susceptibility (adjusted odds ratio = 0.16; 95% confidence interval [0.07, 0.35]). Among 196 detainees reporting a positive history, 95% had VZV IgG levels suggestive of varicella immunity. Among 44 susceptible detainees offered vaccination, 86% accepted. Given relatively high varicella susceptibility, targeted screening and vaccination among ICE detainees lacking a positive history might reduce varicella transmission risks.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement