varicella-zoster%20virus%20infection%20(pediatric)
VARICELLA-ZOSTER VIRUS INFECTION (PEDIATRIC)
Varicella, also known as chickenpox, is a self-limited, benign disease caused by primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection characterized by fever, malaise, and generalized pruritic vesicular rash.
The average incubation period is 14-16 days. It is transmitted via direct contact with vesicular fluid or inhalation of aerosolized respiratory secretions or via droplet route during face to face contact.
Hallmark sign is pruritic rash that begins in the scalp and face which eventually spreads to the trunks and extremities.

Differential Diagnosis

Varicella

  • Other skin eruptions that may be confused w/ varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection:
    • Viral exanthems, impetigo, insect bites, scabies, erythema multiforme, papular urticaria, drug eruption, hand-foot-mouth disease, disseminated herpes zoster & other vesicular dermatoses which may appear w/ the same diffused rash typical of varicella

Herpes Zoster

  • Pain experienced w/ herpes zoster is often misdiagnosed as myocardial infarction (MI), pleurisy, cholecystitis, appendicitis, duodenal ulcer, herniated intervertebral disc, thrombophlebitis, ovarian cyst, renal or biliary colic
  • Zoster sine
    • Dermatomal pain, w/ positive serologic & virological evidence but w/o rash
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