Varicella vaccine in pregnancy

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7075.226 (Published 18 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:226

Testing should be offered to women without a history of chickenpox

  1. Peter V Coyle, Consultant virologista,
  2. Conall McCaughey, Senior registrara,
  3. Dorothy E Wyatt, Principal virologista,
  4. Hugh J O'Neill, Consultant clinical scientista
  1. a Regional Virus Laboratory, Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast BT12 6BN
  2. b University of Nottingham, Department of Microbiology, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH

    Editor-Daniel S Seidman and colleagues' editorial on giving varicella vaccine to non-immune women to prevent infection during pregnancy addresses an area of growing clinical concern.1 The potential consequences to the fetus resulting from chickenpox in pregnancy are serious.2 The problem stems from a rise in the incidence of primary chickenpox in adults, probably as a result of increased personal living standards delaying exposure to the virus.3 In Northern Ireland over the period 1 January 1995 to 31 August 1996 we established the laboratory diagnosis of acute chickenpox in 28 patients (average age 23 years). The clinical presentation was atypical in several patients, including a 35 year old woman with secondary chickenpox, in whom varicella zoster virus was recovered from an isolated abdominal …

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