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Fatal Wild-Type Varicella-Zoster Virus Encephalitis Without A Rash in A Vaccinated Child

Ibraheem, Mam MD, MPH*†; Marin, Mona MD; Leung, Jessica MPH; Bryce, Clare H. MD§; Schmid, D. Scott PhD; Zaki, Sherif R. MD, PhD; Drew, Clifton DVM, PhD; Liu, Lindy MPH; Smelser, Chad MD

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: February 2013 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 183–185
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e318273e43d
Brief Reports

Encephalitis associated with varicella-zoster virus, rare among children in the varicella vaccine era, has generally been associated with a rash. We report fatal wild-type varicella-zoster virus encephalitis without a rash in a child who had received 1 dose of varicella vaccine. Varicella-zoster virus encephalitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis for children presenting with acute neurologic symptoms, even vaccine recipients.

From the *Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM; National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; §University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; and National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Accepted for publication May 01, 2012.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: Mam Ibraheem, MD, MPH, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Suite N1320, PO Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM 87505. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.