varicella-zoster%20virus%20infection
VARICELLA-ZOSTER VIRUS INFECTION
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 with varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection
    • Viral exanthems, impetigo, insect bites, scabies, erythema multiforme, papular urticaria, drug eruption, hand-foot-mouth disease, disseminated herpes zoster and other vesicular dermatoses which may appear with the same diffused rash typical of varicella

Herpes Zoster

  • Pain experienced with herpes zoster is often misdiagnosed as myocardial infarction (MI), pleurisy, cholecystitis, appendicitis, duodenal ulcer, ovarian cyst, herniated intervertebral disc, thrombophlebitis, renal or biliary colic
  • Zoster rash may be confused with impetigo, contact dermatitis, folliculitis, scabies, insect bites, urticaria, candidal infection, dermatitis herpetiformis, eczema herpeticum, drug eruptions
  • Zoster sine herpete
    • Dermatomal pain with positive serologic and virologic evidence but without rash
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