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In conversation with an eminent dermatologist recently, he made the remark that he had never seen chickenpox in an adult. I thought it a remarkable statement in so experienced a man, inasmuch as I had seen a large number of such cases while connected with the Department of Health of Chicago. I subsequently noticed a statement published in the Cleveland Journal of Medicine, by Dr. William Thomas Corlett, to the effect that he had never seen a case of chickenpox in an individual after puberty. A little later The Journal of the American Medical Association editorially said that chickenpox in an adult was so rare an occurrence that "it might be a safe rule in some respects to call every case in an adult smallpox that one feels tempted to diagnose as varicella."
An adult with a supposed case of chickenpox either has or has not chickenpox. If he has
SPALDING H. DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS BETWEEN CHICKENPOX AND SMALLPOX. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(8):497–500. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470080019001f
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