Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 > Varicella-Zoster Virus: Prevention Through Vaccination
Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3182510b67
Prevention of Infection in the Obstetric Patient

Varicella-Zoster Virus: Prevention Through Vaccination

GNANN, JOHN W. Jr MD

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Abstract

Widespread use of varicella vaccine in the United States has drastically changed the epidemiology of the disease. Although chickenpox is no longer a ubiquitous childhood infection, varicella-zoster virus continues to circulate in the community and nonimmune pregnant women remain at risk. Varicella can cause severe infection in pregnant women, often complicated by viral pneumonia. Maternal varicella occurring in the first half of pregnancy can cause the rare but devastating congenital varicella syndrome, whereas infection in the late stages of pregnancy may cause neonatal varicella. The best approach to avoiding the morbidity and mortality associated with chickenpox in pregnancy is to screen and vaccinate susceptible reproductive-age women.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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