Herpes Zoster in Otherwise Healthy Children

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In normal infants and children, zoster can occur at any time after varicella or varicella vaccination. It is usually diagnosed clinically: a unilateral vesicular eruption following a dermatome or dermatomes. The incidence of zoster increases with age, although children who have had varicella during the first year of life (or in utero) are at increased risk of developing zoster. The incidence of zoster is less after varicella vaccination than after natural infection. Zoster in children is frequently mild, postzoster neuralgia rarely if ever occurs, and antiviral therapy is usually not needed. In a previously normal child with zoster, if the history and physical examination are normal, a laboratory search for occult immunodeficiency or malignancy is not needed. We present five cases of zoster in healthy children and review zoster in the pediatric age group.

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