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Varicella-Zoster Virus Infections during Pregnancy

Elsevier B.V.
DOI: 10.1016/s0168-7069(06)13004-9
  • Medicine


Abstract Chickenpox is rare in pregnancy. However, the disease must be considered to lead occasionally to disastrous maternal, fetal, and neonatal diseases. By contrast, the appearance of normal zoster is not associated with special problems during pregnancy and perinatal period. Pregnant women who contract varicella are at risk of severe pneumonia and death. At any stage during pregnancy, chickenpox may cause intrauterine infection. The consequences for the infant depend on the time of maternal disease. During the first two trimesters, maternal varicella may result in congenital varicella syndrome which has been reported in nearly 2%. Maternal infection near term is associated with a substantial risk of intrauterine acquired neonatal chickenpox in the newborn infant, who can develop the clinical picture of serious disseminated varicella with visceral involvement. The present paper reviews the clinical consequences as well as the current possibilities of diagnosis, prevention and therapy of varicella-zoster virus infections during pregnancy.

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