Last reviewed: 30 Oct 2020
Last updated: 02 Apr 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • history of exposure
  • 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
  • unvaccinated status
  • occupational exposure

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • polymerase chain reaction
  • viral culture
  • direct fluorescent antibody testing (DFA)
  • Tzanck smear
  • latex agglutination (LA)
  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • complement fixation
  • ultrasound (pregnant women)
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital (Alder Hey)

Liverpool

UK

Disclosures

AR declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr Andrew Riordan would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Steven Pergam, Dr Rupali Jain, and Dr Anna Wald, previous contributors to this topic.

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 topic. RJ declares that she has no competing interests. AW is a member of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for a Merck study of a candidate VZV vaccine.

Peer reviewersVIEW ALL

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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