Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: March  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • fever
  • vesicular rash
  • vesicles on mucous membranes

Other diagnostic factors

  • pruritus
  • headache
  • fatigue/malaise
  • sore throat
  • tachycardia

Risk factors

  • age 1 to 9 years
  • exposure to varicella
  • unimmunised status
  • occupational exposure

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • PCR
  • viral culture
  • direct fluorescent antibody testing (DFA)
  • Tzanck smear
  • latex agglutination (LA)
  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • complement fixation
  • ultrasound (pregnant women)
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Assistant Professor

University of Washington Associate in Clinical Research

Assistant Member

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Director, Infection Prevention

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Seattle

WA

Disclosures

SP has served as a consultant for Merck & Co., Inc, Optimer/Cubist, and Chimerix, and has participated in clinical trials with these three organizations. He is also an author of a paper cited in this monograph.

Clinical Associate Professor

School of Pharmacy

University of Washington

Seattle

WA

Disclosures

RJ declares that she has no competing interests.

Professor

Departments of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, and Epidemiology

University of Washington

Member

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Director

University of Washington Virology Research Clinic

Seattle

WA

Disclosures

AW is a member of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for a Merck study of a candidate VZV vaccine.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital (Alder Hey)

Liverpool

UK

Disclosures

AR has been funded by GlaxoSmithKline as a consultant and has been reimbursed by CLB Behring following attendance at a European conference.

Chief

Outpatient & Pediatric Dermatology

59th Medical Wing/ SGOMD

Lackland Air Force Base

San Antonio

TX

Disclosures

CMH declares that he has no competing interests.

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