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January 1953


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Ohio State University College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1953;91(1):35-42. doi:10.1001/archinte.1953.00240130043004

CHICKEN pox is usually a mild and benign disease. However, previous reports1 have demonstrated that complications, although infrequent, may be of unusual severity. Primary varicella pneumonia has been reported so rarely that one may fail to anticipate the potential severe pulmonary manifestations which can occur. It is the purpose of this report to describe severe varicella pneumonia seen in three adults within a five-month period.


Case 1.  —T. B., a 38-year-old white engineer, was admitted to the Ohio State University on Feb. 24, 1952, in acute respiratory distress. Five days prior to admission he noted mild malaise and a few "watery pimples" on his scalp. The following day there was marked involvement of his forehead, face, chest, and abdomen, with fewer lesions on the extremities. At this time he realized he had chicken pox, since there was a considerable amount of it in the community where

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