Varicella in the newborn is so unusual that it is looked on as a curiosity and its occurrence is worth reporting.
Newborn infants are protected against some infectious diseases by what may be regarded as natural immunity. Ehrlich1 in his study of antitoxin immunity to ricin originally showed that passive transfer from immune mothers to their offspring occurs naturally. That antibodies are transferred through the placenta was shown by the work of Park and Zingher2 on diphtheria, in which they compared Schick tests on mothers and on infants and demonstrated that the newborn infants almost invariably gave the same reaction as the mother. These observations were confirmed by Kuttner and Ratner,3 who worked with the Schick test and made comparative titrations of the antitoxin content of the maternal and the cord blood. Park and Williams4 concluded from these and from similar experiments that if a mother
SHUMAN HH. VARICELLA IN THE NEWBORN. Am J Dis Child. 1939;58(3):564–570. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990090118009
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