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September 1987

Unusual Presentation of Varicella Suggestive of Sexual Abuse

Author Affiliations

Department of Pathology University of New Mexico School of Medicine Albuquerque, NM 87131

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(9):940. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460090017008

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Sir.—Sexual abuse in children is a sensitive and emotional subject. Certain clinical signs properly make this suspicion leap to the front of one's mind. However, because of the emotionally charged subject of sexual abuse, other causes of these clinical findings may be forgotten. We would like to report a case that reinforces this lesson.

Patient Report.—A 6-year-old girl presented to the Family Practice Clinic at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, with a two-day history of "blisters" on the vulva. She was brought to the clinic by her mother, who was worried about herpes. On examination, two 3- to 4-mm vesicular lesions with an erythematous base were located on the medial aspect of the right labum majus. A few other tender, erythematous areas were found near the clitoris. No physical evidence of sexual abuse was found. The lesions were unroofed, and material for a viral culture and Tzanck

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