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August 31, 1964

Varicella and Herpes Zoster

JAMA. 1964;189(9):699. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070090049020

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To the Editor:—  In the editorial, "Disseminated Herpes Zoster" (JAMA188:749 [May 25] 1964), it is stated that a "clinical syndrome develops which closely resembles varicella." It is surprising to find herpes zoster regarded as being only similar to varicella, rather than as another manifestation of the latter. Numerous case reports have linked varicella outbreaks with herpes zoster, and vice versa. In Rivers' textbook on virology, the viruses causing the two diseases are described as being identical.I have seen four children with herpes zoster, all of whom had had chickenpox during infancy, or a mild case in the second year of life. In one youngster a generalized varicelliform lesion developed simultaneously which was much milder than the average case of chickenpox. In three cases, chickenpox developed in the patients' susceptible contacts, including, in two cases, the mothers, who had never had chickenpox. The appearance of zoster in children

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