April 1968

Zoster in Children

Author Affiliations

New York
From the departments of pediatrics and dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, and the Department of Pediatrics and Dermatology, Bellevue Hospital, New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(4):432-437. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010434005

ZOSTER is said to occur less frequently in children than in older individuals. It has been suggested, however, that the disease occurs far more frequently in children than is generally realized, but because of the relatively benign course of childhood zoster, cases do not come to the attention of the physician.1

Zoster is believed to be caused by activation of varicella zoster (VZ) virus which had been acquired during a previous attack of chickenpox. One might expect, therefore, to find a lower rate of zoster in children than in adults, since children who have not had chickenpox would not run the risk of getting zoster. Studies in adults indicate that the risk of contracting zoster increases with advancing age.2-4 Since most individuals get chickenpox in childhood, it would appear, therefore, that the risk of getting zoster increases as the interval of time since onset of chickenpox increases.


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