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March 1961

Herpes Zoster and Varicella in Identical Twins

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(3):503-504. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580090153020

The viruses of herpes zoster and varicella were established as identical in 1948 by Rake and Blank, by means of the electron microscope. It is not unusual to find a varicelliform eruption complicating herpes zoster, but we were unable to find a report of simultaneously infected identical twins, one of whom exhibited varicella, the other, herpes zoster.

Report of Cases  Two Negro, identical female twins, aged 7 years, were brought to the University Hospital Dermatology Clinic on Aug. 6, 1959.Patient 1 complained of pain in her right arm on Aug. 3, 1959. Later the same day, blisters were seen on the right side of her chest and back.Examination revealed groups of tense vesicles on erythematous bases on the right anterior chest wall, right axillary line, and right side of the back, distributed along the course of the seventh thoracic nerve. Scattered discrete vesicles were noted on the abdomen

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