Arvin Ann M.Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: August 1993 Article: PDF Only Buy Abstract Varicella, or chickenpox, results from primary infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This virus is a member of the human herpes virus family which is highly contagious and infects most individuals during the childhood years. Recent efforts toward improving the clinical management of primary VZV infection have focused on evaluating the potential efficacy of oral acyclovir for the treatment of acute varicella in otherwise healthy children and adults. The feasibility of a preventive approach to VZV infection has been addressed in studies of the administration of the live attenuated varicella vaccine to susceptible children and adults. The information derived from these investigations of antiviral and vaccine efficacy has important implications for the clinical approach to the treatment and prevention of VZV infections. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.